May 252024
 


Thomas Cole Prometheus Bound 1847

 

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)
Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)
NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)
NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)
Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)
Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)
US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)
Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)
Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)
Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)
Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)
The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)
Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Schumer

 

 

Prince

 

 

 

 

Comey

 

 

FBI at my door

 

 

 

 

Who can Russia have talks with for peace? Not Zelensky…

“..Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks..”

“..one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

“The Biden administration has yet to comment on the issue of Zelensky’s status publicly. However, the European Commission and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock assured on Tuesday that he is legitimate..”

He is not legitimate just because he says so, or Brussels or Berlin do…

Any deal with Zelensky is meaningless.

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)

Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks to conclude the conflict between the two nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. He noted that Vladimir Zelensky’s term in office has expired. The president made the remarks in Minsk on Friday during a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. Putin was asked for comment on Zelensky’s presidential term running out earlier this month and the impact of this development on potential talks. Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness to engage in talks with Ukraine to end the hostilities, stating that negotiations must be based on “common sense” and acknowledge “realties on the ground,” while using the preliminary agreement reached in the early days of the conflict as the foundation.

“But with whom to negotiate? That’s a peculiar question, I agree. We realize that the legitimacy of the incumbent head of the [Ukrainian] state has expired,” the Russian leader stated. The upcoming “peace summit,” scheduled to take place in Switzerland next month and actively promoted by Kiev is designed, among other things, to prop up Zelensky in his role, Putin said. “I think one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

It’s up to Ukraine’s legal system, its “parliament, constitutional court and some other governing bodies” to determine whether Zelensky is now a legitimate leader or not, according to Putin. As for Russia, in order to engage in any meaningful talks with Kiev, it must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the country’s legitimate authorities, the president stressed. Zelensky’s term expired on Monday, while no elections were held under the pretext of the martial law introduced by Kiev early in the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian Constitution explicitly prohibits holding parliamentary elections under such circumstances, yet does not mention presidential elections. However, while setting the length of the presidential term, it also specifies that power is transferred the moment a new president is sworn in.

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“Legitimate or not, the Ukrainian leader is a national catastrophe hell-bent on going global..”

Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)

On 20 May, something important changed for Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky. On that day, the five-year presidential term for which he had been elected in 2019 came to an end. He remains in office, however, without having to face fresh elections. Zelensky’s critics, including within Ukraine, argue that he is now illegitimate in a strict, constitutional sense – in effect, a usurper. His followers and defenders, including in the West, insist that Zelensky legally remains president under martial law. What is clear is that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, presidential elections can be held during wartime (unlike parliamentary ones, which are ruled out), even if a lack of clarity would require amendments, as Ukrainian experts have explained in national media. Even the New York Times acknowledged as much as recently as last October. At that point, however, Zelensky himself had not yet ruled out elections and American super hawk Senator Lindsey Graham was demanding them in his usual imperious tone.

Wartime elections in Ukraine would have posed practical challenges, although these could have been overcome. For instance, back in October, Zelensky himself stated that online voting was a possibility. Western media, including the BBC, which now claim Zelensky had no legal or practical option of standing for reelection, are misinforming their audiences by simply reproducing his regime’s current talking points. Not, obviously, for the first time. No doubt, the legal legitimacy of a president is a critical issue, especially one as high-handed and authoritarian as Zelensky has been for years and since well before the escalation of the war in February 2022. Yet what is more important are the political meaning and effects of Zelensky’s transition to past-due-date status.

In this respect, the first point to note is that is Zelensky is evading the basic accountability of an election that would inevitably increase public scrutiny of his record. Even more disturbing, however, is to see one of his closest associates turning unquestioning compliance with this move into a de facto loyalty test, complete with ominous threats. The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, a key magnate in Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party, has reportedly even called all those who doubt the president’s continuing legitimacy “enemies of the people” and “political lice.” Of course, this rhetoric – ironically reminiscent of Stalinism – comes with the usual tired smears: Anyone who dares doubt the Zelensky regime is routinely accused of doing so at the behest of Russian agitators. Perish the thought – in Zelensky’s post-“Revolution of Dignity” and “free world” showcase Ukraine – that citizens could genuinely disagree with their superiors!

Verbal brutality of the Stefanchuk kind is especially intriguing because a reasonably reliable and recent (February) poll shows that almost 70% of Ukrainians agree that Zelensky should remain president until “the end of the state of war.” For better or worse, Zelensky’s decision to avoid elections – whatever his reasons – is not unpopular. But a closer look at the same poll reveals why the Zelenskyites are so touchy and aggressive: Widespread consent with postponing presidential elections does not translate into the same amount of popularity for Zelensky personally, or, for that matter, for his regime. For instance, in December 2023, 34% of respondents believed that he should not stand for another election (whenever the latter were to take place). By February of this year, only three months later, that share had risen to 43%. Clearly, Ukrainians who believe that this is not the right time for presidential elections and, at the same time, that Zelensky should never be a candidate again, don’t consider elections unnecessary because they are happy with his rule.

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“..carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors..”

NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)

NATO is forming a network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of Russia’s borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Romania, Artur Lyukmanov, the special presidential representative for international cooperation in information security of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with Sputnik. “Washington has long been practicing methods of hybrid warfare against Russia in the information sphere. Ukraine is used as the main training ground, whose hackers, including from the much-touted ‘IT army,’ carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors,” he said. Lyukmanov said entire units of Western security services and armed forces have been sent to Kiev.

“It’s no secret that the alliance is forming an entire network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of the Russian borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Romania, and in the future – in Georgia and Moldova. Under the auspices of the Pentagon, cyber exercises are being carried out on a systematic basis (the Cyber Flag exercises recently ended in the US), during which scenarios of confrontation with us in the digital sphere are tested,” the diplomat said. Western countries, led by the United States, are building up offensive potentials in the field of information technology to conduct computer operations against Russia and China, Artur Lyukmanov said. “Indeed, Western countries, led by Washington, continue to build up offensive ICT potentials to conduct computer operations against their geopolitical opponents, that is, Russia, China and other independent states,” he said

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“Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory..”

NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)

Hungary is reevaluating its role in NATO, as it has no intention to take part in actions that could involve member states in the Ukraine conflict and lead to a direct clash with Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. Speaking on local Kossuth Radio, Orban stated that his country has already been relegated to the role of a non-participant within the US-led military bloc due to its stance on Ukraine, and Budapest is now working on legal ways to retain its membership but reserve the right to abstain from joining NATO operations it disagrees with. “Hungary’s position must be redefined, our lawyers and officials are working on ways to allow Hungary to continue to exist as a NATO member without participating in NATO activities outside the bloc’s territory. We need to create a new approach, a new definition for our position as a pro-peace force within NATO,” Orban said.

According to the prime minister, there are “alarming similarities” between the emotionally charged media publications and statements by Western politicians regarding the Ukraine conflict and the atmosphere preceding the First and Second World Wars. “What is happening today in Brussels and Washington… looks like warming up for a possible direct military conflict. We can safely call it the preparation of Europe’s entry into the war,” Orban said, adding that there are working groups within NATO that are assessing the best ways for the bloc to further boost its participation in the conflict. He warned that the end result of these actions could be a direct conflict between the EU, NATO, and Russia – a “grim prospect,” as the conflict would involve nuclear powers.

Someone tell me why instead of isolating this conflict – because it is a war between two Slavic peoples, despite all the arguments on the side of Ukraine – we choose to jump into this war? Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory. Commenting on Western claims that Russia could attack Europe if it defeats Ukraine, Orban said the chances of this happening are extremely slim, and these warnings only serve as an excuse to become directly involved in the Ukraine conflict. Hungary has opposed NATO funding and arming of Ukraine from the outset of the conflict in February 2022. The country has not sent any weapons to Kiev, and has not allowed its territory to be used for their delivery, despite pressure from both Brussels and Washington. Budapest has called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

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“If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war. ”

Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)

Ukraine is now enforcing a new mobilization law which is being called ‘divisive’ among many Ukrainian citizens and some political leaders. The law requires men ages 18-60 to carry their military paperwork at all times to be presented to authorities on demand. It lowers the minimum draft age from 27 to 25 (Ukraine has a demographic shortage of men ages 18-25). And, all military age Ukrainian men abroad must come back to Ukraine to renew their passports, including refugees driven from their homes in the early days of the war. Conscripts must update their address, contact information, and military records within 60 days through government institutions or a mobile application. This is in preparation for a national draft database containing information on every fighting age male in the country. The conscription measures are expected to greatly reduce Ukraine’s labor pool, forcing many businesses to shut down. Essential workers are not exempt from the draft.

Vladimir Zelensky signed two other bills into effect, one allowing prisoners to be deployed to the front lines (the western media criticized Russia last year for implementing a similar measure), the other bill quintuples fines for people caught trying to evade the draft. Early versions of the law allowed for concessions on pay and better rotation for soldiers, including a policy which would relieve soldiers serving for 36 months or more. All demobilization concessions were removed from the final version; Ukraine’s military leadership argued that they needed the most experienced soldiers to remain at the front. Kyiv has offered cash bonuses to troops towards purchases of housing and cars as an incentive to join the war effort, however, critics argue that the Ukrainian treasury does not actually have the funds to fulfill the promises Zelinsky is making. To counter charges of undermining soldier morale, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says it is working on a separate demobilization bill, but massive manpower shortages make any demobilization action highly unlikely.

Front line soldiers have repeatedly complained about the lack of rotation, with some rarely getting a chance to leave the trenches in the past two years. These desperate conscription laws arrive just as Russian forces close in on Kharkiv, the second largest city in the nation. Bombardment of the city’s defenses and infrastructure is already underway in preparation for a possible offensive. Some analysts argue that Russia does not have enough troops to take Kharkiv and that this is a distraction. Russia may open a new front near Sumy which is 100 miles away, or they may plan to full envelope Kharkiv because they know Ukraine’s troop strength is at a minimum. The western media has been an avid mouthpiece for the Ukrainian government over the past couple years with many pundits shaming Ukrainian citizens who have tried to leave to avoid being involuntarily mobilized. Seeing the complete lack of organization and the habitual embezzlement of funds among Ukraine’s leadership it’s not surprising that many citizens do not want to fight for them. If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war.

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“Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.”

Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) expressed support for Ukraine using US-provided weapons on Russian territory, a step that would risk a major response from Russia. Ukraine has been lobbying the US to allow the use of US-provided missile systems on Russian territory in the wake of Russia’s Kharkiv offensive, and the idea is gaining support in Congress. A group of bipartisan members of the House sent a letter to President Biden on Monday urging him to lift any restrictions on Ukraine’s use of US weapons. “It is essential the Biden administration allows Ukraine’s military leaders to conduct a full spectrum of operations necessary to respond to Russia’s unprovoked attack on their sovereign land,” the lawmakers said. Johnson was asked if he supported the idea of Ukraine hitting Russian territory with US weapons and replied that the US needs “to allow Ukraine to prosecute the war in the way they see fit.”

“They [Ukraine] need[s] to be able to fight back. And I think us trying to micromanage the effort there is not a good policy for us,” he told Voice of America. Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.” The warning came after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine had the “right” to use British arms in attacks on Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is asking NATO to take another step that could lead to a catastrophic escalation. In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, he pleaded for the Western alliance to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine, which would mean direct NATO involvement in the conflict, raising the risk of nuclear war.

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You’re located in Brussels, right?

Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has argued that members of the Western military bloc should let Ukraine freely use their weapons to launch strikes deeper into Russian territory. “The time has come for allies to consider whether they should lift some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons they have donated to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said on Friday in an interview with The Economist. “Especially now when a lot of the fighting is going on in Kharkov, close to the border, to deny Ukraine the possibility of using these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory makes it very hard for them to defend themselves.” Stoltenberg noted that some NATO members have already lifted restrictions on using their weapons to attack targets in Russian territory.

Asked whether he was referring to the US as the one major holdout, he said, “I think what we see now demonstrates the need to reconsider those restrictions, not least because we have fighting going on along the border between Russia and Ukraine.” However, according to Moscow, the rhetoric about restrictions on the use of US munitions are false and designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that US weapons, such as ATACMS missiles armed with cluster warheads, have already been used on attacks inside Russia, including strikes against civilian targets. “We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weaponry strikes targets on the territory of Russia, primarily civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” he told reporters on Friday.

The NATO chief’s comments come at a time when Western leaders are making increasingly bold statements about attacks on Russian territory. US President Joe Biden held back on sending long-range weapons to Ukraine in the early days of the conflict with Russia, citing concern over the possibility of triggering a wider conflict. When more advanced weaponry was later approved, it came with strings attached, including a prohibition on hitting Russian territory. However, as the New York Times reported on Thursday, views on those restrictions have shifted as Russian forces make battlefield gains. After making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly began urging the administration to let the former Soviet republic use American weapons as it sees fit. A group of US lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier this week, pressing him to give the Ukrainians the permissions they have requested.

Stoltenberg said he believes NATO members can thread the geopolitical needle by supporting Ukraine’s defense without becoming direct parties to the conflict. “We provide training, we provide weapons, ammunition to Ukraine, but we will not be directly involved from NATO territory in combat operations over or in Ukraine,” he said. “So, that’s a different thing.”

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A lonely voice..

US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)

The United States should stop sending money to Ukraine and attempt to negotiate peace as soon as possible, US Congressman Thomas Massie told Sputnik on Friday. “I think we should quit sending money there. I think we should try to negotiate peace as soon as possible,” Massie said on the sidelines of the 2024 Libertarian National Convention. US lawmakers are showing dwindling support for sending military aid to Ukraine each time the matter comes to a vote, Massie highlighted. “The support for sending weapons to Ukraine is weakening in the US Congress, as you can see with each subsequent vote,” the congressman emphasized. There should be some effort made to bring both Ukraine and Russia to the upcoming conference in Switzerland as it is hard to imagine negotiations without Russia, Massie stressed “This sounds kind of hard to negotiate a peace if they don’t have Russia at the table. So I think there should be some effort to have Ukraine and Russia there,” the congressman said.

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden could help solve the conflict in Ukraine, and even lower-level discussions between top diplomats could help achieve progress, Massie highlighted. “I think it could help,” Massie said when asked whether talks between Biden and Putin could help solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. “Although, even lower-level negotiations would help as well, I think.” When asked at what level such discussion should be held, the congressman said, “Maybe at the secretary of state level, for instance.” Massie expressed his view that it is “wrong” that communications between the US and Russia are limited. “I think there should be talks,” he said. The US government freezing of foreign assets, including those of Russia, is a very short-sighted policy and sends a message to the international community that the United States may stop honoring transactions, the congressman emphasized.

“I think it’s very short sighted of our government to freeze for instance, Treasury assets, that are held by other countries, such as Russia, because it sends a message to the world that if you buy our debt, then we may not honor the transaction at some point,” Massie explained. The representative added that US moves to freeze foreign assets are “extremely dangerous” because they will increase the price that Washington has to pay to finance its debt. “I’m sure that our closest allies will still trust that we’ll be good on our word, but other sovereign funds will have a diminished appetite for financing our debt,” Massie said. “So, I think it’s very short-sighted of us to do that.” Moscow has maintained that any attempt to confiscate its frozen assets would violate international law, with the Russian Foreign Ministry labeling such an action as theft. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has also said that Moscow is willing to issue a “symmetrical” response to this form of Western financial aggression.

The congressman argued that he opposes the US government sending more money to Ukraine unless such assistance achieves peace. “I told our own speaker – if you want to send $60 billion and the goal is to achieve some kind of peace, I might be compelled to vote for it. But I’m not voting for $60 billion that will then only necessitate another $60 billion,” the representative clarified. Massie also said that both sides to the conflict in Ukraine will eventually run out of people if fighting continues. “I think it’s immoral to grind up people in this war on both sides,” Massie added. Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the United States was providing a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $275 million. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday the United States has already delivered many of Ukraine’s “top-priority requirements” and much more assistance is on the way.
Austin added that he expects a steady flow of US assistance for Ukraine on a weekly basis.

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“Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case.”

Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)

With closing arguments scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, the prosecution of former President Donald Trump will finally head to a jury. Judge Juan Merchan has refused every opportunity to bring an end to this politically manufactured prosecution. Now it will be up to 12 New Yorkers to do what neither the court nor the prosecutors were willing to do: adhere to the rule of law regardless of the identity of the defendant. Merchan has allowed the government to bring back into life a dead misdemeanor and convert it into 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. To accomplish this legal regeneration, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has vaguely referenced a variety of crimes that Trump allegedly was trying to conceal through the business record violations. The problem is that he has left the secondary crime mired in uncertainty to the point that experts on various networks are still debating what the underlying theory is in the case.

Indeed, Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case. In the meantime, the prosecution is pushing to make it easier for the jury to convict. First, they have vaguely referenced a variety of possible offenses from tax to election violations. Bragg initially laid out four possible predicate crimes. It is down to three – a tax crime and violations of state or federal election law. Merchan has ruled that the jury does not have to agree on what crimes were being covered up so the jury could literally have three different views of what happened in the case and still convict Trump. Prosecutors are also seeking to effectively shorten the playing field by allowing the jurors to convict on a lower standard of proof for the key term in using “unlawful means.” The defense wants the jury instructed that it must find that such use of “unlawful means” was done with willful intent.

The prosecutors do not want to use that higher standard. For the defense, it is effectively reducing the field to the end zone to make it easier for the prosecution to score. In the last few days, the Bragg strategy has come into sharper focus in one respect. Bragg is not counting on the evidence or the law. He is counting on the jury. Call it the Lawrence O’Donnell factor. After Michael Cohen imploded on the stand in the trial, even experts and hosts on MSNBC and CNN stated that his admissions and contradictions were devastating. Cohen is not only accused of committing perjury in his testimony, but he matter-of-factly detailed how he stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump organization. After being disbarred and convicted as a serial perjurer, Cohen waited for the statute of limitations to run on larceny to admit that he stole as much as $50,000 by pocketing money intended for a contractor.

Liberal commentators acknowledged the fact that Cohen had committed a far more serious offense than the converted misdemeanor against Trump (but was never charged). Yet, one figure stepped forward to assure the public that all was well. MSNBC host O’Donnell said that he watched the testimony and that Cohen did wonderfully. Keep in mind that Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche asked Cohen point blank: “So you stole from the Trump organization, right?” Cohen answered unequivocably: “Yes, sir.”O’Donnell, however, rushed outside to declare that Cohen was merely acquiring a bonus that he thought that he deserved as a type of “self-help”: “Cohen [was trying] to rebalance the bonus he thought he deserved. And it still came out as less than the bonus he thought he deserved and the bonus he had gotten the year before.”

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25,000 is not a “large-scale campaign” either. Not for Trump. Not even in NY.

Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump took aim at President Joe Biden over a range of issues while vowing to turn New York City around “very quickly” at a rally in the South Bronx on Thursday. President Trump made the comments in front of a crowd estimated at 25,000 supporters in one of the most Democratic counties in the nation. His appearance at Crotona Park, which comes as he is on trial in New York, marked his first large-scale campaign in the state since 2016, when he held two events at the Times Union Center in Albany and another in Buffalo. As Axios (of all people) reported, the Thursday night drew a crowd that looked very different than the typical MAGA flock. The unusual sight of Trump speaking to several thousand people in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in deep blue New York is a sign of the realignment happening between the two parties.

Trump’s GOP is becoming more working class and a little more multiracial. Democrats are gaining with more well-educated voters in the suburbs. The thousands of people gathered to see the former president were a diverse group of people, including what Fox News Digital noted were Black, Hispanic, White, Asian and Muslim supporters. Ahead of Trump’s rally yesterday, both the Biden and Trump campaigns rushed to paint their opponents as racist and a worse choice for Black voters. The Biden campaign put out a digital and television ad that begins: “Trump disrespecting Black folk is nothing new.” The campaign posted on X: “Let’s remember that Trump is a lifelong racist.” The Trump campaign responded with a reminder that Biden helped pass the 1994 Crime Bill that led to mass incarceration disproportionately impacting minorities.

As Katabella Roberts reports via The Epoch Times, President Trump used the rally to criticize his Democratic rival and his immigration policies amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border, telling the crowd of attendees that his rival was failing to “get the job done” for those living in the Bronx. He also described his rival as “grossly incompetent.” President Trump said that under President Biden’s watch, impoverished communities and minorities have been hit the hardest. He said President Biden’s policies have seen inflation, crime, and illegal immigration rise. “African Americans are getting slaughtered, Hispanic Americans are getting slaughtered,” President Trump said. “These millions and millions of people that are coming into our country—the biggest impact and the biggest negative impact is against our black population and our Hispanic population who are losing their jobs, losing their housing, losing everything they can lose.”

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It’s an entire language they fail to understand..

Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)

The Biden campaign has posted a job listing seeking a ‘meme manager’ prompting many to submit examples of their finest Biden meme manager memes. The listing, seeking a ‘Partner Manager, Content and Meme Pages’, was posted on Daybook. It states, “In this role, you will initiate and manage day-to-day operations in engaging the internet’s top content and meme pages.” “The ideal candidate for this role is passionate about bringing political content to voters where they already are on the internet,” it adds.

Responsibilities in the post include a need to “cultivate and manage relationships with top digital media companies, podcasters, and meme pages across a number of social media platforms” as well as to “identify and land engagement opportunities.” The listing betrays the fact that Biden is haemorrhaging support among young voters, and the campaign, in its infinite ignorance, believes that a few well executed memes might turn that around. The problem is, the left can’t meme. Leftist memes routinely include walls of text explaining what they mean, rendering the meme itself pointless and absurd.

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Now the military arm of Boeing gets its turn.

Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)

The families of US servicemen killed in a V-22 Osprey crash in California in 2022 have brought a lawsuit against Boeing, Bell Textron, and Rolls-Royce, accusing them of hiding and failing to correct known reliability issues in their aircraft. Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, the suit alleges that the three corporations “intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently provided false information about the safety, airworthiness, and reliability of V-22 Osprey aircraft,” its engines, systems, and component parts, according to the court documents. “The aircraft, as fielded, has failed and continues to fail to meet the government’s safety and reliability specifications and requirements and the aircraft is not safe,” the lawsuit reads.

The incident at issue occurred in southern California on June 8, “on a training mission during the day with good weather,” when a V-22 suffered catastrophic mechanical failure and crashed, killing all five Marines aboard. The subsequent investigation by the US Marine Corps found that “there was no error on the part of the pilots and aircrew and nothing they could have done to anticipate or prevent this mishap,” nor any “maintenance error” from the ground crew. The V-22 Osprey, a relatively recent addition to the US aircraft fleet, is capable of vertical take off and landing using its tilting twin proprotors, acting as both airplane-style propellers and helicopter-style rotors, depending on which flight mode the craft is using.

There have been 58 accidents involving Ospreys since 1991, with at least 20 being lost beyond repair and leading to more than 60 fatalities, according to the Flight Safety Foundation statistics. The V-22 gained the nickname ‘widow maker’, having led to 30 deaths before it even entered service in 2007. The US military temporarily ceased all flights of the aircraft for an investigation in November last year, after a V-22 crashed near Yakushima, Japan, killing eight. Two months prior, Boeing was ordered to pay $8.1 million to settle allegations that it failed to adhere to critical manufacturing specifications in its V-22 parts production. The claims were brought against the aerospace giant by three whistleblowers who worked at its Ridley Park, Pennsylvania facility.

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New “Twitter Files”.

The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)

While the CIA is strictly prohibited from spying on or running clandestine operations against American citizens on US soil, a bombshell new “Twitter Files” report reveals that a member of the Board of Trustees of InQtel – the CIA’s mission-driving venture capital firm, along with “former” intelligence community (IC) and CIA analysts, were involved in a massive effort in 2021-2022 to take over Twitter’s content management system, as Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag report over at Shellenberger’s Public. According to “thousands of pages of Twitter Files and documents,” these efforts were part of a broader strategy to manage how information is disseminated and consumed on social media under the guise of combating ‘misinformation’ and foreign propaganda efforts – as this complex of government-linked individuals and organizations has gone to great lengths to suggest that narrative control is a national security issue.

According to the report, the effort also involved; • a long-time IC contractor and senior Department of Defense R&D official who spent years developing technologies to detect whistleblowers (“insider threats”) like Edward Snowden and Wikileaks’ leakers; • the proposed head of the DHS’ aborted Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, who aided US military and NATO “hybrid war” operations in Europe; • Jim Baker, who, as FBI General Counsel, helped start the Russiagate hoax, and, as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, urged Twitter executives to censor The New York Post story about Hunter Biden. Jankowicz (aka ‘Scary Poppins’), previously tipped to lead the DHS’s now-aborted Disinformation Governance Board, has been a vocal advocate for more stringent regulation of online speech to counteract ‘rampant disinformation.’ Jim Baker, in his capacity as FBI General Counsel and later as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, advocated for and implemented policies that would restrict certain types of speech on the platform, including decisions that affected the visibility of politically sensitive content.

Furthermore, companies like PayPal, Amazon Web Services, and GoDaddy were mentioned as part of a concerted effort to de-platform and financially de-incentivize individuals and organizations deemed threats by the IC. This approach represents a significant escalation in the use of corporate cooperation to achieve what might essentially be considered censorship under the guise of national security. Nina Jankowicz And The Alethea Group: Remember Nina? A huge fan of Christopher Steele – architect of the infamous Clinton-funded Dossier which underpinned the Trump-Russia hoax, and who joined the chorus of disinformation agents that downplayed the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell, Jankowicz previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, and advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. She also oversaw the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.

Jankowicz compares the lack of regulation of speech on social media to the lack of government regulation of automobiles in the 1960s. She calls for a “cross-platform” and public-private approach, so whatever actions are taken are taken by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, simultaneously. Jankowicz points to Europe as the model for regulating speech. “Germany’s NetzDG law requires social media companies and other content hosts to remove ‘obviously illegal’ speech within twenty-four hours,” she says, “or face a fine of up to $50 million.” By contrast, in the US, she laments, “Congress has yet to pass a bill imposing even the most basic of regulations related to social media and election advertising.” -Public.

In a 2020 book, How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict, Jankowicz praises a NATO cyber security expert for having created a “Center of Excellence,” a concept promoted by Renée Diresta of the Stanford Internet Observatory, in which she made the case for the (now failed) Disinformation Governance Board that Jankowicz would briefly head up. One year later, Jankowicz began working with ‘anti-disinformation’ consulting firm, Althea Group, staffed by “former” IC analysts. Althea notably came after ZeroHedge at one point, shopping a ‘dossier’ around which suggested we were allegedly contributing to “increased online panic” amid the monumental collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The outlets they peddled said dossier to included Bloomberg – which elected to exclude ZeroHedge from their report following a brief email exchange. Eventually, one of their operatives dropped the dossier on Twitter, only to be mocked as a propagandist.

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“..they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop..”

Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

Recently, it became public that Kevin Morris, the entertainment lawyer who has subsidized the expenses and bought the art of Hunter Biden, had stopped his funding of Biden. Morris has paid off Hunter’s IRS debts and reportedly lent him a total of $4.9 million for housing, car payments, legal fees, and other possible costs. The so-called “sugar bro” is “tapped out” according to media reports. (For full disclosure, Morris previously threatened me with a defamation lawsuit over my writing about his representation of Hunter). Now the House has confirmed prior stories that whistleblower records indicate that the CIA prevented the Justice Department from questioning Kevin Morris as a witness in its probe of Hunter Biden. Morris has maintained that he lent Hunter millions for “no ulterior motive” and continued to support him out of friendship. Yet, when investigators started to look into the payments and the relationship, they were told that Morris had some relationship with the CIA in August 2021. According to previously unreleased information, IRS special agent and current whistleblower Gary Shapley documented the bizarre intervention of the spy agency.

In a sworn affidavit in May, Shapley declared: “During a recurring prosecution team conference call in or around late August 2021, Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Lesley Wolf told the team that she and DOJ Tax Attorney Jack Morgan had recently returned from the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where they had been summoned to discuss Kevin Morris. AUSA Wolf stated that they were provided a classified briefing in relation to Mr. Morris and as a result we could no longer pursue him as a witness. Investigators probed AUSA Wolf, but since her briefing was classified and she was apparently sanitizing it to an unclassified form to share over an open phone line, she did not elaborate with more information. She reiterated more than once that they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop while she was there. It is unclear how the CIA became aware that Mr. Morris was a potential witness in the Hunter Biden investigation and why agents were not told about the meeting in advance or invited to participate. It is a deviation of normal investigative processes for prosecutors to exclude investigators from substantive meetings such as this.”

It is a testament to the level of bias in the mainstream media that this story is not the sole focus of every media outlet in America. Imagine if the CIA intervened to stop an investigation into a donor maintaining one of the Trump children and supporting his effort to blunt any investigation into corruption. MSNBC would make it ongoing special programming with its own time slot. This is an agency that is supposed to avoid domestic interventions into politics as well as other areas. It is accused of pulling in a prosecutor to tell her to close part of a criminal investigation involving the financial supporter of the president’s son. Even if Morris was an asset, the question is why shut down the inquiry into his payments to Hunter Biden. The work of Morris with the CIA could be protected or redacted. Instead, the line of inquiry was shut off and Wolf reportedly left Langley with CIA swag and an empty bag of evidence.

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Vivek

 

 

Tigress

 

 

Lioness

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 242024
 


Theodoor Rombouts Prometheus 1627

 

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)
US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)
Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)
Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)
US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)
Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)
Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)
Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)
Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)
Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)
Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)
292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

 

 

I don’t like the rhetoric these days…

 

 


House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul

 

 

Trump Bronx
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793782406388027528

 

 

AOC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793485913797882305

 

 

Trump 1989
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793725371357020478

 

 

Comey

 

 

Tucker Trump Bet-David

 

 

Bill oh Bill

 

 

Cruz

 

 

Bridgen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793568491456668057

 

 

 

 

Russia as the guardian of western civilization.

Very nice historical perspective from Stephen Karganovic, President Of The Srebrenica Historical Project.

“Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.”

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)

Upon assuming his duties, the new Russian Defence Minister Andrey Belousov made a number of noteworthy statements that rightfully reverberated throughout the world. But tucked in amongst his other observations of mainly geopolitical character there was one pregnant remark of an entirely different nature that nobody seems to have caught on to. Arguably however it surpasses all of the rest in significance: “Russia,” Belousov stated, “should follow the path of modernized conservatism… Russia can preserve traditional Western values. The West has abandoned these traditional values and moved on to something else – to an anti-traditional mindset within the framework of postmodernism.” One suspects that this circumlocution refers to the woke ideology which is currently ravaging the Western world. “It is important,” he continued, “to preserve traditional Western values, which in a certain sense are the values of Western Christian civilization, European civilization.”

Now comes the punchline: “Russia can become the guardian of these values. This may sound like a paradox, but it’s true. In this respect, it would be wrong to call the West our enemy … In the West, there are certain elites, and considerable parts of society that are associated with traditional values. And in this respect, they may grasp at this straw, this chance which Russia offers them to preserve some of their values.” These are remarkable affirmations. It would not be an exaggeration to call them epochal, coming from such a high-ranking source in the country that until quite recently symbolised a radical ideological rupture with the very civilisation and moral values in the defence of which Mr. Belousov has raised his voice. And he is doing it not just in his own name but plainly on behalf of the entire land for which he so self-confidently speaks. Granted, Mr. Belousov personally has all the required credentials to make such a statement because he is known to be a believing, church-going Orthodox Christian.

In defending the European civilisation and European values he is standing up for his own deeply cherished principles and for the Orthodox Christian civilizational milieu from which those principles have sprung. But on the symbolic level, as everyone with a solid grasp of relevant history knows, there is much more to it than that. Oddly, Western analysts and commentators missed completely the connection between Belousov’s bold depiction of Russia as the residual guardian and defender of Western civilisation and strikingly similar sentiments articulated earlier by another Russian, at an analogous historical juncture. Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.” Western experts might have noticed the congruence between Philotheus and Belousov if they had a modicum of historical awareness, or, as Andrei Martyanov likes to put it, if their CVs contained even minimal evidence of culture and education. But in fact they are a culturally challenged and deplorably ignorant lot.

Therefore, they overlooked the premium point that Defence Minister Belousov gratuitously handed to them. Were they brighter or better educated, and capable of earning their keep, they might have gleefully twisted the minister’s words into rather plausible-sounding proof of Russia’s expansionistic ambitions. Such disinformation, bolstered with a decontextualised quote from one of the highest officials, would have corroborated perfectly their propaganda claims. They could have had a field day connecting Belousov’s words to their mendacious misrepresentation of current events. And if their propaganda skills were not so pathetically unrefined they could even have made the case that their geopolitical rival’s expansionistic pretensions did not start in February 2022 but go back for centuries, to at least the time of the monk Philotheus. Alas! to make such connections you need a bit of intellect, some imagination, and at least a bright schoolboy’s knowledge of history.

But needless to say, the issues that Philotheus broached in the epistle to his emperor in the 16th century, and also the issue that Defence Minister Belousov has raised more recently, are neither symbolic nor metaphorical, and least of all are given to vulgar propagandistic simplification. They reflect today as they did in the time of Philotheus an emerging civilizational paradigm, a reality that has been profoundly and for the West perhaps irreversibly reshaped. The new reality today is analogous to conditions in Christendom that prevailed when Philotheus made his bold declaration. Constantinople, the eastern Second Rome, had recently been conquered, just as in our time Europe, the First Rome, has finally imploded, ceasing to be either the political or spiritual centre of civilizational gravity. For recent evidence of that multi-level implosion one need look no further that the festival of satanic degeneracy in Malmo or the occult symbolism embedded in plain view in the official portrait of the head of the Church of England, the British monarch.

Today, as in the 16th century, who else is there that could possibly fill the void but the then surging, and in our own time resurgent, Russia? That in my view encapsulates the significance of Andrey Belousov’s history-making manifest that, regrettably, seems to have slipped under the radar but whose momentous impact will soon be felt.

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What diplomacy? They barely know how to spell it.

US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Diplomatic efforts from Washington, which are withheld due to President Joe Biden’s irrational views on Russia, could have resolved the Ukrainian conflict that Americans and their allies are now unable to win, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said. “America, in the years Biden has been in office, has spent $175 billion to fight a war that cannot and will not be won. It will only be resolved by diplomacy—if rationality prevails in Kiev and Washington,” Hersh wrote in a Substack article. Otherwise, the “undertrained, understaffed, and poorly-equipped Ukrainian army faces an overwhelming defeat,” he predicted.

In addition, Hersh, citing a longtime senior US official said that the US intelligence community has been concerned about Biden’s views on Putin and Russia, which date back to his time serving in the Senate. However, some within the American intelligence community believe that the United States bears its own share of responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine, Hersh added. “Putin and his predecessors in Moscow watched for three decades—since the reunification of Germany in 1990—as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) added member states that brought NATO to Russia’s doorstep,” Hersh said.

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“..the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.”

Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)

Calls by American lawmakers to allow Ukraine use foreign-made weapons against targets deep in Russian territory play into Kiev’s hands, as they encourage a direct clash between Moscow and NATO, Russia’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has warned. On Wednesday, a group of US congressmen submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking him to authorize “the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.” This stance has previously been supported by Victoria Nuland, the former acting US Deputy Secretary of State, who played a major role in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Earlier this week, however, Austin stopped short of endorsing the policy shift, suggesting that Kiev should focus “on the close fight” rather than on long-range strikes with foreign-made weapons.

On Thursday, Antonov denounced the “provocative” and “extremely dangerous and reckless” calls to allow Ukraine use Western-supplied weapons to attack deep inside Russia. He added that “the calls by Russophobes mean only one thing – further US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the agonizing Zelensky regime.” The envoy suggested that the debates on the matter were a “hysterical reaction” to Russia’s successes on the battlefield against Ukraine, and that Western policymakers “continue to test our patience.” According to Antonov, it is also obvious that by requesting permission to attack deep inside Russia with foreign-made weapons, Kiev seeks “to provoke the United States, as well as other NATO countries, into rash actions and achieve a head-on collision between Russia and the bloc’s members.”

Kiev would likely use long-range systems against Russian civilians, the ambassador claimed, adding that “the Kiev regime has long… stopped asking permission” from the West to do so. “Barbaric raids using deadly products of the NATO military-industrial complex are carried out across our country on an almost regular basis,” Antonov stated. Ukraine has stepped up its pleas to be allowed to use Western-made weapons against far-flung targets inside Russia as Moscow’s forces steadily advance in Donbass and the Kharkov Region. The latter area has been used by Kiev to routinely shell Russian territory, with strikes killing dozens of civilians. Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region seeks to establish a “cordon sanitaire,” or buffer zone, to prevent further Ukrainian attacks.

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“.. there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.”

Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)

The threat of a world war is growing due to “insane statements” by Western politicians speculating about sending soldiers to Ukraine against the background of exercises in Russia involving non-strategic nuclear weapons, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. He noted that “there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.” “There are those who want to send soldiers to Ukraine. Others are already speculating about the use of nuclear weapons. Every day the threat of a world war is getting closer,” Szijjarto told a news conference after a meeting in Budapest with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis. “We see what is happening: European politicians are making statements about the use of nuclear weapons. The Russians are conducting exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons,” Szijjarto said. He believes that “the time has come to stop this ma”..dness.” Szijjarto recalled that the Hungarian government had long stated that it was impossible to resolve the Ukrainian conflict militarily.

“That is why Hungary continues to tell its European partners that instead of indulging in crazy statements and fantasies that threaten to escalate [hostilities] they should spend at least half of their energy on achieving peace. Then there may be hope that this war will be ended at the negotiating table,” Szijjarto emphasized. On May 21, Russia began the first stage of exercises including practical training in preparations for using non-strategic nuclear weapons. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, they are being held in response to provocative statements by Western officials and are aimed at maintaining the readiness to respond and ensuring the country’s sovereignty. Missile units of the Southern Military District are practicing preparations for launching Iskander tactical missiles, while the personnel of the Aerospace Forces will equip air-launched delivery vehicles with special warheads, including hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, and head for patrol areas.

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“..it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war..”

US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul added fuel to the fire of escalatory rhetoric swirling around Washington on Wednesday regarding restrictions on Ukraine’s use of American long-range strike weapons, trotting out a map during Secretary Blinken’s testimony showing areas of Russia hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian frontlines that weapons like ATACMS and HIMARS could hit. “Will you change this policy so that Ukraine can fight without one hand tied behind its back?” McCaul asked. “When it comes to enabling or endorsing attacks outside of Ukraine, that’s not something we’ve done, but Ukraine will have to make and will make its own decisions and I want to make sure that it gets the equipment that it needs,” Blinken said, avoiding a direct answer. Privately, however, sources told the New York Times that the secretary of state favors lifting the restrictions, and that he has lobbied President Biden to do so after what the newspaper characterized as a “sobering” trip to Kiev last week, where he was briefed on Ukraine’s battlefield setbacks.

McCaul’s counterparts in the Russian Duma and Senate slammed the congressman’s “madness” and apparent loss of instinct for self-preservation, warning that Russia would be forced “to take tough and swift measures” in response to such blatant aggression. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, meanwhile, recommended to McCaul that the first place in the “Russian interior” to be targeted by long-range US missiles is the American Embassy in Moscow. But the debate in Washington regarding direct US approval for Ukrainian missile attacks deep inside Russia constitute little more than “word games,” says former US Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

“Ukraine is already attacking critical energy facilities inside Russia, oil tanks, petroleum depots. This is taking place. It’s just that it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war. Why is he doing this? Domestic American politics. It will have no impact on the battlefield. But what it does is allow the Biden administration to posture itself as doing something discernable to address the Russian successes – the successful offensive north of Kharkov, the continuing successful offensives in eastern Ukraine and Novorossiya,” Ritter told Sputnik. The catastrophic situation for Ukraine is seen by the Biden administration as a “political problem” during an election year, and Blinken is “trying to come up with a political solution,” the military and international affairs observer explained.

“But it’s shortsighted. It won’t resolve the military problems that are being confronted by the Ukrainians. What it will do is create the dangerous potential for the kind of escalation that the Biden administration has been assiduously seeking to avoid – an escalation that would lead to a direct confrontation between Russia, the United States and NATO. An escalation that could see this conflict move away from conventional war into the possibility, indeed probability of nuclear conflict,” Ritter said. Ritter characterized the hostile rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding overt approval for strikes on Russia an “unprecedented” escalation, “an act of war, an act of aggression that Russia couldn’t let go without a response.” Legally, the retired soldier said, Russia would have the right not only to strike decision-making centers and launch sites inside Ukraine, but also those facilitating the attacks, potentially including “American decision-making centers in Europe.”

As for Congressman McCaul’s map, Ritter suggested that what neocons like McCaul “don’t understand” is “that they’re putting forward a slanted version of this conflict. An accurate map put up by Tony Blinken, Victoria Nuland or the congressman from Texas would highlight for instance Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Germany, France, England, Italy, the Netherlands, the Baltics…All of those nations provide a safe haven for Ukraine – a place where Ukrainian forces can train. A place where Ukrainian military materiel can be stockpiled, repaired. Where command and control activity takes place, where intelligence is collected, assessed and disseminated. All these activities are part and parcel of Ukraine’s military effort against Russia, and under normal conditions would be subjected to military interdiction. But Russia doesn’t attack them, it can’t attack them because they’re part of NATO. For Russia to attack them, even though this activity is directly related to the war, it would lead to an expansion of the conflict, an escalation. So Russia has avoided doing this even though it has every right to do so.”

“Russia has the ability to decisively interdict all of the activities that are taking place on NATO’s soil. Ukraine – if it were to launch attacks on…Russia – all it would do is kick the bear. It’s not going to have a meaningful impact. It’s not going to change the outcome. The Russians will not be defeated. This will not alter the reality that Ukraine lacks manpower, equipment and funding to sustain this conflict – that Ukraine is on a path of decisive defeat that could occur sometime this year. And no expansion of the target deck is going to change that reality,” Ritter concluded.

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With Biden incapacitated, Blinken is the de facto leader on foreign policy.

Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pushing the administration of President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to attack targets deep inside Russia with American weapons, the New York Times reported on Thursday, referring to unnamed US officials. The ban, according to the White House, was imposed out of concern that if US arms were used inside what Washington acknowledges as Russian territory it would trigger an escalation and potentially World War III. Blinken has been advocating for scrapping the restriction after making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, the newspaper said, citing insider sources. Ukrainian officials have claimed that being unable to target Russian forces across the border with American weapons led to the failure of its troops to prevent the recent Russian advances in Kharkov Region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the offensive is a response to months of Ukrainian artillery and drone attacks in Russia’s Belgorod Region and that a buffer zone is required to deprive Kiev of the capability to make such strikes. The Times said that Ukrainian weapons “don’t pack the power and speed of the American weapons.” Kiev has launched a lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill to pressure the White House over the issue and has some allies among lawmakers. A group of representatives signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday calling for the Ukrainian request to be granted. During a hearing in Congress on Tuesday, Senator Michael McCaul displayed a map showing the strike range of ATACMS missiles – a weapon the US has donated to Ukraine – if Kiev were allowed to use them inside Russia.

He called the outlined territory a “sanctuary zone” for Russian troops and accused the Biden administration of tying the hands of the Ukrainians behind their backs. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has urged increased NATO involvement in the conflict and has argued that the West should not fear Russia’s reaction. Moscow believes that Zelensky’s goal is to trigger an escalation to maintain his position. Russia is currently conducting a military drill to test its capability to use non-strategic nuclear weapons, which Putin ordered in response to hostile rhetoric by Western officials. One such remark identified by Moscow came from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said earlier this month that Kiev “has the right” to use weapons donated by his nation to attack targets inside Russia.

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More Blinken.

Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)

Israel has allegedly abandoned its plans for a major invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip in favor of targeted incursions after talks with the United States, The Telegraph has reported, citing a senior US official. The report cited the official as saying on Wednesday that Israel had taken concerns of the US into account, which had for weeks warned Israel against full-scale operation in Rafah. “It’s fair to say, I think, the Israelis have updated their plans. They’ve incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed … This is an ongoing discussion, ongoing conversation. It’s been constructive,” the official said, referring to a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem last week. Last week, Sullivan traveled to the Middle East and visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Israeli leadership.

Earlier in May, the Pentagon confirmed media reports that the Biden administration halted deliveries of 1800 2000-pound bombs and 1700 500-pound bombs to Israel after the country began its allegedly limited military operation in Rafah while making public its plans to proceed with a major ground operation.In early May, US President Joe Biden said during an interview with CNN that Washington would not supply weapons to Israel if the Jewish state’s military went into Rafah. In the early hours of May 7, the Israel Defense Forces launched what it called a counterterrorist operation in the east of Rafah and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. Later that week, Israeli media reported that Israel’s military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation. Israeli authorities say the operation was aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others were abducted during the attack. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 35,600 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

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They know how dumb their voters are… But even then, this is something else…

Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)

With a brand new set of polls showing Donald Trump leading in six of seven swing states, establishment media has stooped to new levels of transparent dishonesty in a desperate effort to derail his campaign. The latest example? An all-out hoax that had major outlets telling Americans that Trump shared a video promising that his reelection would lead to the “creation of a unified Reich,” in what was supposedly a shocking revelation of his intention to Make Nazism Great Again. Here’s a sampling of the hysterical headlines:
• Newsweek: Donald Trump ‘Unified Reich’ Video Leaves People Stunned
• MSNBC: Trump’s Online Account Promotes ‘Unified Reich’ Video, Adding To Alarming Pattern
• The Hill: White House Slams ‘Sickening’ Video Shared By Trump Referencing ‘Unified Reich’
• CNN: Trump Posts Video Referencing ‘Unified Reich’ If Reelected

TV’s talking heads gravely shared the news. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said Trump posted a video that “used language from Nazi Germany, the latest in a series of antisemitic and authoritarian statements from Trump and his campaign.” Social media erupted in the latest round of bogus outrage, including this pearl-clutching tweet from archetypal deep-stater and Constitution-betraying mass surveillance architect Michael Hayden. The White House leapt headlong into the propaganda blitz. “It is abhorrent, sickening, and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany’s Nazi government under Adolf Hitler,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates. Piling dishonesty on dishonesty, here’s Joe Biden recoiling in phony disbelief as he pretends to be seeing Trump’s alleged abomination for the first time:

So what actually happened? On Monday afternoon, Trump’s Truth Social account reposted a video that had been created and posted by someone outside the campaign. The video used imagery of newspaper headlines to imagine a Trump victory in November and the beneficial consequences that would accompany it. The video was not created from scratch, but rather from a stock video template that anyone can buy online. Sold by Envato Elements, it’s called “Newspaper Vintage History Headlines Promo.” With its old-newspaper feel, whatever headlines are added to it are given a certain historical gravitas. Aside from the Trump-specific banner headlines, the video creator simply left intact all the minor, historical headlines that come with the template and serve as little more than background filler. For all the freaking out about Trump using the video to implicitly endorse the Third Reich, the vintage headline in question isn’t even about that reich. It reads, “German Industrial Strength After 1871 Driven By The Creation Of A Unified Reich.” “It’s difficult to convey just how fake the establishment American media really is,” said Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt, in this segment that lays bare the utter dishonesty behind the latest baseless outrage:

Predictably, the so-called “fact checkers” at Snopes framed the video controversy in such a way that they could stamp “TRUE” on it, addressing merely whether Trump shared a video that contained the words “creation of a unified reich.” Like many of the harpies on social media who’ve been called out for their deceptive descriptions of the video, Snopes blames the video creator for “fail[ing] to remove” the unified Reich headline — as if that video creator had used Triumph Of The Will as their starting template.

Meanwhile, with an article explaining why the video “isn’t what people are making it out to be,” The Atlantic’s David Graham pleasantly surprised us — only to then exasperate us by reinforcing one of the most persistent anti-Trump hoaxes of all. After explaining the benign nature of the video template, Graham proceeded to administer a Trump-mythology booster to The Atlantic’s lefty readership, writing that “[Trump] called neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 ‘very fine people.” Let’s go to the transcript…again. In a feisty exchange with reporters, Trump — referring to politically diverse protesters and counter-protesters who showed up in Charlottesville — said: “You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides…You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

After questioning whether statues of historical figures should be removed solely because the person in question had some involvement with slavery, Trump said: “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” Just as the “very fine people” hoax persists at The Atlantic and nearly everywhere else, we’re guessing the “unified reich video” hoax will have staying power too. In any event, it looks like it’s time for Scott Adams to issue another update to his hoax quiz…

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“These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present..”

Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)

Attorney General Merrick Garland has long maintained that he is a completely apolitical figure who only follows the law. Critics have challenged that claim on key cases, including those related to Hunter Biden. However, Garland may now face one of the clearest tests of his claim in his tenure. The House committees have issued a public report alleging three different instances where Hunter Biden allegedly committed perjury. The question is now what Garland is prepared to do about it. When Hunter testified, I wrote columns suggesting that he might take the Fifth Amendment to remain silent because the risk was too great that he might lie or mislead investigators in his answers. With months of preparation, he decided to run the gauntlet and now appears to have exposed himself to the possibility of additional criminal charges. Hunter Biden has still not responded to the specific allegations, but on their face they appear strong.

Notably, the Justice Department spent considerable time and money to pursue false statements against figures like Michael Flynn over just one statement describing a meeting with Russian diplomats. These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present. One of the instances concerns the controversial WhatsApp message where Hunter not only threatened a Chinese businessman to send him massive amounts of money but said that his father was sitting next to him at the time. Millions were later sent to the Bidens. The infamous WhatsApp message stated in part: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

The response of Hunter to questions about the message was curious and evasive. Hunter said that he had only two things to say about that message. He denied that his father was sitting next to him despite saying that he had no memory of sending the message. Second, and most importantly, he stated “the Zhao that this is sent to is not the Zhao connected to CEFC” who “had no understanding or even remotely knew what the hell I was even Goddamn talking about.” The Committee staff maintains that Biden’s WhatsApp account show that he only ever communicated with one Zhao – Raymond Zhao – and that he most certainly did [know] what he was “talking about.” Another alleged lie was Hunter’s denial that he ever helped people associated with Burisma secure visas. He told Congress that he was unwilling to provide “any work as it related to visas that they needed” and that he would “never pick up the phone and call anybody for a visa.”

The Committee has produced an email showing Hunter’s associate Devon Archer concerning the revoking of Burisma CEO Nikolay Zlochevsky’s visa. It states that “Hunter is checking with Miguel Aleman to see if he can provide cover to Kola on the visa…Please send Hunter an email with all Kola’s passport and visa documents and evidence and copy me. We’ll take it from there.” Hunter also swore that he had no part in shell companies that received foreign payments. Yet, Archer testified that he and Hunter had equal stake in Rosemont Seneca Bohai and the Committee has evidence from the IRS whistleblowers showing that Hunter received benefits as owner of the entity’s associated bank account. The most damning evidence may be a document reading “I, Robert Hunter Biden, hereby certify that I am the duly elected, qualified and acting Secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC.” He used that document as part of his contract with Porsche Financial Services for a sports car.

That would seem pretty clear and well-founded allegations for a referral to the Justice Department. After fast-tracking false statement claims against Trump officials, the question is whether Garland will even submit the matter to a grand jury. He could also give the matter to the Special Counsel prosecuting Hunter. Ordinarily, a prosecutor pursuing a defendant in two different felony cases would jump at any alleged illegality. You would not want to stand between him and a grand jury. However, Special Counsel David Weiss has been accused of minimizing charges against the President’s son and attempting to push through a notorious sweetheart deal that collapsed in court. Now Garland faces an unavoidable choice in treating this referral as he did Trump cases (in sending this to a grand jury) or scuttling alleged perjury made by the son of the President before Congress. It is far less challenging legally than it is politically for Merrick Garland.

Garland

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Oh no, not her..

Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)

Former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced on Wednesday that she will vote for Donald Trump in November as he meets her priorities better than Biden. “As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who is going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account…,” Haley said at the Hudson Institute. “I will be voting for Trump.” Trump has not been perfect but Biden has been a “catastrophe,” she said. Haley also expressed hope that Trump will actively engage her voters rather than simply expect their support. Earlier, an Axios report said that Trump’s campaign is considering Nikki Haley for the vice presidential role.

Haley, who was a key Republican rival in the presidential race alongside Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, could be chosen if Trump believes she would enhance his chances of winning the November election, avoid potential imprisonment, and manage his multi-million dollar legal bills, the report added. Members of the Republican Party close to both politicians believe that teaming up is in their mutual interest because Haley has deep ties with sponsors who are wary of Trump, and she could help him attract the votes of some college-educated Republicans, the report said.

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“Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge..”

Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)

The US Army has been teasing the deployment of its ground-based Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system since 2021, with the system touted as the Pentagon’s first nearly operational hypersonic missile amid development delays and cancellations plaguing nearly a dozen similar projects for and by the Army, Air Force, Navy, and DARPA. The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin another $756 million for its delay-plagued LRHW “Dark Eagle” program, with the contract involving the provision of battery equipment, unspecified logistics, systems, and software engineering support. In development since 2017, the LRHW’s $41 million apiece truck-launched missiles are expected to be able to accelerate to speeds up to Mach 17, and boast a 3,000 km operational range. The system uses the common All Up Round (AUR) munition also used in the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program.

But like other US hypersonic missile efforts to date, Dark Eagle has become a somewhat “Dubious Eagle” after a string of testing issues. The Congressional Research Office has counted at least five failures to date:
• In October 2021, an LRHW test failed when the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) did not deploy.
• In June 2022, the complete LRHW missile system suffered another test failure.
• A scheduled LRHW test was canceled in October 2022 to “assess the root cause” of the June 2022 failure.
• In March 2023, a scheduled test launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida was scrapped.
• A second planned test at Cape Canaveral was canceled in September 2023, followed by an Army statement that it would not be able to meet the goal of deploying Dark Eagle in the current fiscal year.
• A November 2023 review by Army and Navy acquisition execs blamed the delays on unspecified “problems” with the Lockheed-made launcher, and said the issues would take “months” to iron out.

The poor track record of US hypersonic missile programs to date has been surprising, given the tens of billions of dollars in research and development funding lavishly doled out by Congress in annual defense budgets – which typically outpace the defense spending of all of Washington’s major adversaries combined. Last month, veteran Russian defense observer and missile expert Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik that the reason hypersonic weapons are so difficult to develop comes down not to the ability to accelerate vehicles to hypersonic speeds (which has been possible since virtually the dawning of the missile age), but creating materials that can withstand the ultra-hot temperatures hypersonic missiles encounter during flight – when they are covered by clouds of plasma. The USSR was leagues ahead of the US in the study of plasma physics during the Cold War, with Russia inheriting this invaluable knowledge and putting it to good use to field its first-in-the-world hypersonic missiles.

“Technologies are developed by people,” Drozdenko explained. “Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge,” the observer said.

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“..pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)

A Dutch conservative female lawyer is being prosecuted on charges of “racism” and “inciting hatred” after she expressed fury over mass migration in response to a viral video showing a white boy being beaten up and thrown onto a railway track by a gang of migrants. Raisa Blommestijn revealed how she had received a letter that amounted to an order to appear before a Dutch prosecutor at a court hearing in front of multiple judges on August 19th. The charges stem from comments Blommestijn made on social media in response to a video of a defenseless Dutch boy being brutally kicked and punched as he lay on the ground at an Amsterdam Metro station in May last year before he was thrown onto the railway track. “Yet another white man got kicked around in the street by a group of black primates. How many defenseless white people remain to become victims? Countless probably: the open borders elite is importing these people in droves, with all the consequences that entails,” she wrote.

Blommestijn said she was subjected to a four hour police interrogation over her comments and later learned that she would be facing prosecution. “Until now, it was still unclear what would happen next with this case. Unfortunately, I can tell you that as of today, there is clarity. The sword of Damocles has fallen because this morning I found this letter in my letterbox. A letter that cannot be seen as anything other than a subpoena,” the lawyer told her followers. The conservative warned that people were being “persecuted for their political opinions” and for opposing mass migration by a nation that is “pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Prominent conservatives being punished by authorities for expressing strong anti-mass migration views has become a common theme across Europe, with the state seeking to make an example of them in order to silence dissent. As we recently highlighted, a German politician was found guilty of ‘incitement’ by a district court after she posted a link to the government’s own statistics on crimes committed by migrants, specifically rape, and asked why they are so disproportionately high. Three former members of Belgium’s right-wing ‘Nation’ party were also convicted for Facebook posts in which they compared the Brussels district of Molenbeek to Africa due to its massive non-native population and demanded the Belgian government put “our people first.”

Eva

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“According to the FAA, a metal plate attached to a fuel tank vent on the wings of the 777 was installed without an electrical bond, meaning it could potentially accumulate static electricity and cause a “fire or explosion” in the jet’s fuel tanks.”

292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

Overnight, DailyMail reported that yet another fleet of Boeing jets has a potentially disastrous flaw. The 777, commonly called the Triple Seven, has poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank that can cause “fire or explosion.” Back in March, the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns about the 777’s safety and set a deadline of May 9 for Boeing and third-party experts to respond. However, it’s still unclear whether the company has taken any action, as reported by DailyMail. “This condition, if not addressed, could result in an ignition source inside the fuel tank and subsequent fire or explosion,” the Airworthiness Directives note states. The FAA noted the safety fix includes “installing electrical bonding and grounding” to prevent short-circuiting “electrostatic discharge to the surrounding structure” around the air intake system near the 777’s center-wing fuel tanks. The projected cost to fix the 292 vulnerable wide-body planes is around $700k.

777 are flown across the world. Many of these jets are commonly used by American and United Airlines. This was the same jet earlier this week that abruptly dropped 6,000 feet during a London to Singapore flight. Last month, Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour told lawmakers on Capitol Hill about “serious concerns about the safety of the 787 and 777 aircraft.” Salehpour is one of the lucky whistleblowers still remarkably alive after more than a month from his statement on Capitol Hill. At that time, he told lawmakers about “premature fatigue failure” on these planes and warned Boeing was “putting out defective airplanes.” In each passing week, problems for Boeing are growing, from the 777 earlier this week that abruptly dropped to a 747’s engine that erupted in a fireball last week to these recent mishaps: In markets, Boeing shares have been battered in the last 5.5 years following the twin Max 737 crashes (separate crashes) that killed 346 people.The optics for Boeing are terrible. This is why Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is preparing to step down at the end of the year.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Milei

 

 

Chips

 

 

Public schools

 

 

US food system
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793673993058426979

 

 

Elk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793375257388372054

 

 

Bark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793217697540342117

 

 

Self defense shark

 

 

3 little bears

 

 

Baby sitter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793671312235499566

 

 

 

 

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May 102024
 


Carl Spitzweg The raven 1845

 

Jack Smith Has Few Options in Trump Case, Say Former Prosecutors (ET)
Trump Announces ‘Major Motion’ Filed in New York Appeals Court (ET)
Democrats Attack Judge for Delaying Trump Florida Trial (Turley)
Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)
US Defenseless Against Russian Hypersonic Missiles, Iranian Drones – DoD (Sp.)
Boeing’s Setbacks Show Why US Industries Lose Competitive Edge (Sp.)
Aging US Fleet and Drained Stockpiles No Match for China and Russia (Sp.)
Biden Denies Economic Reality In Car Crash CNN Interview (MN)
Tucker Carlson Interviews Biden Accuser Tara Reade (RT)
Whole West Is Working To Supply Ukraine – Putin (RT)
West ‘Trying To Distort’ History Of WWII – Putin (RT)

 

 

 

 

Fani more

 

 

Larry Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidence tampering. Throw out the whole case. Not salvageable.

Jack Smith Has Few Options in Trump Case, Say Former Prosecutors (ET)

A federal judge’s ruling this week that postponed former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case represents a significant legal win for the former president, legal analysts say. A former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, wrote that there is virtually “nothing” special counsel Jack Smith can do to speed the process up. “Realistically there is nothing Jack Smith can do to move the Mar-a-Lago case forward to trial before the election. Judges have extremely broad discretion over their trial calendar, which is what gives Judge Cannon the ability to avoid setting a trial date at this time,” Mr. Mariotti wrote on social media. Another former federal prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, wrote that Mr. Smith’s team will have “a bumpy ride” ahead of them because of Judge Cannon’s “numerous other scheduled hearings on pretrial motions” from President Trump and two co-defendants, which he indicates that Judge Cannon believes “have merit.”

Harry P. Litman, a law professor and a former U.S. attorney, echoed those claims, saying that the case is now in a “deep freeze” after the latest order. Meanwhile, multiple television legal analysts claimed that with her latest order, Judge Cannon is intentionally trying to delay the case. The Epoch Times contacted the court for comment. “This is news but it’s hardly unexpected. Judge Cannon seems desperate to avoid trying this case. This isn’t justice. defendants aren’t the only ones with speedy trial act rights, we the people have them too,” wrote former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, who currently works for MSNBC, on Tuesday afternoon. But Tim Fitton, the head of the Judicial Watch legal group, wrote that complaints about Judge Cannon’s decisions are unwarranted, arguing that such a timeline “is normal and not surprising.”

“But the Left’s election riggers and civil rights abusers believe that Trump has no rights and will attack Judge Cannon for proceeding normally in this case and for not violating Trump’s constitutional rights,” he wrote on X, formerly known Twitter. In that post, he pointed out that Mr. Smith’s team last week submitted court papers to Judge Cannon essentially saying that his team misled the court because the contents of a box of documents were re-arranged. Prosecutors did not disclose the exact reason why the materials may have been shifted. “There are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans,” Mr. Smith’s team wrote, adding that the update contrasts with what they told the judge several weeks ago during a hearing.

The boxes in question have “items smaller than standard paper such as index cards, books, and stationary, which shift easily when the boxes are carried, especially because many of the boxes are not full,” they added. After the disclosure, President Trump wrote his Truth Social platform that he believes Mr. Smith should be arrested before calling for the case to be immediately dropped.

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“‘I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I don’t understand what crime he’s been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don’t get the crime. There’s no evidence of any crime whatsoever..”

Trump Announces ‘Major Motion’ Filed in New York Appeals Court (ET)

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed that his lawyers asked a New York state appellate court to issue a ruling on a judge’s gag order that prohibits him from speaking about certain individuals connected to his ongoing trial. His team filed a motion on Wednesday, which has been sealed and is inaccessible, according to the court docket. The Manhattan district attorney’s office filed a response to the motion, but it was also sealed. While speaking with reporters outside the courthouse on Thursday morning, President Trump confirmed the move. Anonymously sourced reports published Wednesday said that it was a motion to expedite the ruling. “I just want to let you know that we’ve just filed a major motion in the appellate division concerning the absolutely unconstitutional gag order, where I’m essentially not allowed to talk to you about anything meaningful that’s going on in the case. And many good things are going on with the case. It shouldn’t have been filed,” he said. During his comments to reporters, he did not go into specifics about the motion.

The former president is under a gag order that prohibits him from making public statements about potential witnesses, court staff, prosecutors’ staff, or family members. Judge Juan Merchan, who issued the order and later expanded it, ruled that President Trump violated his directive 10 times before threatening to jail the former president if he makes future comments that he believes violate that order. Previously, the New York Court of Appeals rejected the former president’s bid to pause the trial while he battles the gag order. They also rejected an attempt to pause the enforcement of the order, which was issued in March after prosecutors requested it. His lawyers have argued that the gag order violates the former president’s First Amendment right to free speech, noting that he is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate. But earlier this week, Judge Merchan fined the former president for a 10th time for an April remark that he made to a media outlet about the Manhattan jury pool, which he said was “95 percent” Democratic.

The judge then said that a $1,000 fine isn’t enough and that he might have to jail the former president, although he did not go into specifics about how that would look like. “Your continued willful violations of this court’s orders threaten to interfere with the … administration of justice,” Judge Merchan said before issuing a warning about possible jail time. The former president, in response, criticized the judge and wrote on Truth Social that he is now not allowed to respond publicly to “lies and false statements” made about him during the New York trial. It came after witness Stormy Daniels made salacious allegations about President Trump during her first trial appearance, which President Trump has denied. According to emails reviewed by The Epoch Times, the Trump campaign also used the judge’s threat as a means to fundraise for his presidential campaign. “The liberal judge in New York just threatened to THROW ME IN JAIL,” read one of the emails, adding that they want him “in HANDCUFFS.”

During his remarks to reporters on Thursday, the former president also quoted multiple legal analysts’ commentary on the case to say that it should never have been brought against him. Those analysts, which President Trump read aloud from a piece of paper, stated prosecutors revived the case after more than seven years in a politicized attempt to harm his 2024 reelection campaign. “‘I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I don’t understand what crime he’s been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don’t get the crime. There’s no evidence of any crime whatsoever. This is a sham,’” President Trump said, quoting retired Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. The trial is expected to last another two weeks. On Thursday, Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, again took the witness stand and was grilled by defense attorneys about whether she was using her allegations against President Trump to make money for herself and bolster her name recognition.

President Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels for her silence ahead of the 2016 election about the alleged encounter. President Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies Ms. Daniels’ claims. The case is seen by some as the least consequential of the four criminal prosecutions President Trump faces. But the chances of the other three, going to trial before the election are growing more distant. He has pleaded not guilty in all the cases. The former president’s cases in Georgia and Washington were paused by the respective judges overseeing them. Meanwhile, in a major legal win, a Florida federal judge suspended his classified documents case indefinitely after prosecutors revealed that the contents of an evidence box were inexplicably rearranged.

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” this is a case where justice delayed is justice.”

Democrats Attack Judge for Delaying Trump Florida Trial (Turley)

While pundits, politicians and the press have long expressed outrage over attacks on judges by former President Donald Trump, many are now attacking any judge who delays any trial of Trump before the election. Democrats have accused Judge Aileen Cannon of being politically compromised, if not conspiratorial, in her delay of the Florida trial over the mishandling of classified documents. Yet, there is ample reason for the delay that many of us anticipated in this type of case when it was filed. For months, many of us have said that we doubt that this type of trial could be held on the rapid schedule demanded by Special Counsel Jake Smith. Smith has repeatedly sought to curtail trial review and even appellate rights of Trump to advance his schedule. His office has made convicting Trump before the election the overriding objective of its motion — a sharp departure from past Justice Department efforts to avoid trials to influence elections.

As a criminal defense counsel, I have handled classified material cases and they are notoriously slow. Smith could have prosecuted this case in the shorter time frame if he simply charge obstruction. That would have also eliminated the glaring contrast with the handling of the Biden investigation into the current president’s retention and mishandling of classified material. Smith decided to charge an array of document charges related to classified material. The defense must have access, review, and can appeal issue related to the classified procedures. Yet, Smith wanted both the array of document charges and a fast track to trial. The Supreme Court has agreed with Cannon that Smith desire to secure a conviction before the election is not the overriding consideration. Judge Cannon is faced with recent admissions that the government mixed up files in the boxes and staged the famous photos of document strewn over a floor with classified jackets. Most importantly, disputes over the relevant documents continue as expected in the case. Nevertheless, leading democrats are denouncing Cannon as a partisan hack.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on federal courts and oversight subcommittee, said accused Cannon of “deliberately slow-walking the case.” Ignoring the fact that similar cases have taken much longer to go to trial, Whitehouse simply declared “it is hard for me not to reach the conclusion that this [judge] is deliberately slow-walking the case to put it into a position where should [Trump] be elected, he can order that the investigation and prosecution be terminated.” His colleague Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) insisted that Cannon was “managing this case in a way that is making it highly unlikely that it will be resolved in a timely fashion.” Coons added “Justice deferred is often justice denied.” It is a bizarre statement. Classified documents cases routinely take longer to go to trial. The alternative is to cut off the ability of the defense to fully review the documents and review objections for resolution before trial. Yet, because the defendant is Trump and these Democrats want the trial to influence the election, such defense protections are now evidence of judicial bias.

They, of course, ignore that Cannon has ruled repeatedly against major Trump motions in the case. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Cannon’s “at it again, doing everything she can to delay.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), offered the most telling line. He said “I question whether this judge understands the magnitude or the legal import of this trial.”Indeed, it is the timing as much as the charges that makes this so important to the Justice Department and the Democrats. Smith has crafted this case to impact the election and the failure of the court to support that effort is apparently grounds for recusal. Blumenthal called for such a motion before the window is lost before the election: “It’s a classic dilemma for justice that a particular judicial officer may be conducting a trial that could be better done by somebody else.” Despite the statement of his colleague Coons, this is a case where justice delayed is justice.

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“You may assume that Houthi rebels in Yemen want to avoid attacks by the U.S., but they don’t care — they live in caves anyway, so you can’t bomb them into the Stone Age because they’re already there//”

Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)

One of the persistent problems in intelligence analysis is what experts call “mirror imaging.” This is jargon for an analytic flaw in which the analyst assumes that his beliefs and preferences are shared by an adversary. Instead of looking at the adversary as he actually is, the analyst is looking in a mirror while assuming he is looking at the adversary. This is an extremely dangerous flaw. You may be rational, but the mullahs who rule Iran are not. You may believe that leaders want economic growth, but Communist Chinese leaders elevate the party over all other considerations including the well-being of their people. You may assume that Houthi rebels in Yemen want to avoid attacks by the U.S., but they don’t care — they live in caves anyway, so you can’t bomb them into the Stone Age because they’re already there. Nowhere is this flaw more apparent today than in the U.S. intelligence analysis of Vladimir Putin.

In 2008, President Bush said that Ukraine and Georgia should join NATO. A few months later, Putin invaded Georgia, annexed part of its territory and destroyed Georgia’s chances of joining NATO. In 2014, the U.S. backed a coup d’état in Ukraine that deposed a duly elected leader. Three months later, Putin annexed Crimea from Ukraine and made it part of the Russian Federation. In 2021, NATO began formal processes to admit Ukraine as a member. In February 2022, Russia began a special military operation that’s resulted in 500,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers. Some estimates are even higher. Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO are now zero. In every case, U.S. analysts did not believe Putin would take the steps he did because they thought it might somehow weaken Putin or Russia. That’s mirror imaging at its worst. The truth is Putin doesn’t bluff. When he says he will do something, he does. When he says he will react to some Western act, the reaction takes place.

Putin said if the West steals Russian assets, Russia will retaliate by seizing billions of dollars of direct foreign investment in Russia owned by major European companies such as Siemens, Total, BP and others. And sure enough, just days after Biden signed legislation to authorize the theft of Russian assets, a Russian court ordered $440 million be seized from JPMorgan. The escalation in the asset seizure war has begun. Putin will win in the end. Unfortunately, escalation is also increasing on the geopolitical front. The U.S. and some of its European allies are becoming increasingly desperate about Ukraine’s ability to hold off Russia on the battlefield. The recent $61 billion aid package for Ukraine (about two-thirds of which will go to U.S. defense companies) won’t be nearly enough to reverse the tide. The U.S. and its NATO allies have already given just about all they can afford to give Ukraine without jeopardizing their own security. The problem isn’t a lack of money but a lack of weapons and ammunition. Before the aid package was approved, critics complained that Ukraine was losing because the U.S. was withholding desperately needed materiel. But that’s not really true.

The Europeans could have simply bought the weapons from the U.S. and delivered them to Ukraine. They didn’t. Why? Because the weapons simply weren’t there. Yes, there will always be a supply of weapons flowing to Ukraine — they’re not going to run out completely. But Ukraine won’t have nearly enough weapons and ammunition to undertake meaningful offensive operations against the Russians. They’ll just have enough to keep them in the fight, which is the goal of NATO. Unfortunately for Ukraine, the problems run much deeper than a lack of equipment. They’re also running out of trained manpower. Former commander Valeriy Zaluzhny has suggested Ukraine needs an extra 500,000 troops. But they’re having trouble finding new volunteers. An estimated 650,000 fighting age men have fled Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Russian army is even larger than it was before the invasion, and Russian industry is churning out weapons and ammunition at astonishing rates.

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“..could we knock down 99 percent of those missiles coming in?”

US Defenseless Against Russian Hypersonic Missiles, Iranian Drones – DoD (Sp.)

The crisis in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Middle East have demonstrated that the US’ $886 billion defense budget has not translated into real-world capabilities on the ground. Now, an explosive verbal exchange on Capitol Hill has revealed that North America’s skies are defenseless against not only Russian, but even Iranian missiles. An otherwise boring and formulaic briefing by senior Pentagon officials to lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces went off the rails on Wednesday after subcommittee Chairman Angus King took the floor and forced Department of Defense officials to reveal that North America is helpless against adversaries it has spent years agitating around the world. “The truth is we have no defense for hypersonic missiles – yes or no? Mr. Hill, any defense on the hypersonic missile?

You’re the commander of an aircraft carrier in the Greenland Gap. If we have a hypersonic missile launched from Murmansk [traveling at] 6,000 miles an hour, what do you do?” King asked, querying Deputy Secretary of Defense for Space and Missile Defense John Hill. “We have some systems to defend in the terminal stage but we need more, you’re correct, Senator King… that our hypersonic defenses are inadequate and we do need [more]. SM-6 is in the Navy’s terminal range [capability], the Patriot – I’ll let General Gainey speak to the specifics on that. Those are examples but no argument, we need to focus on hypersonic defenses,” Hill responded. “So why are we talking about 2029 and even stretching that out? This is next year kind of stuff. I don’t get your budget,” King countered, referencing the lack of focus on anti-hypersonic capabilities in current US defense spending plans.

“What we faced in the budget this year – it was a difficult year, particularly with the Fiscal Responsibility Act caps that we had to work with. There were must-pay bills that we had to work with for the personnel, the salaries, the health care, inflation costs. When you get down to the point of where you get down to the discretionary types of things where you can really control your choices,” Hill said. “But that’s your mission – your mission is missile defense,” King retorted. “The budget decisions are made at a higher level and so you’re trading off between readiness or your future investments,” Hill said. “Well let me put the question another way: let’s say what happened on April 14 [Iran’s retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel, ed.] happened over the Arctic Ocean – 300 missiles, drones, UAVs came across the Arctic Ocean toward Canada and North America. Could we do what Israel and we and other countries did – could we knock down 99 percent of those missiles coming in?” King asked. “No chairman,” Air Force General Gregory Guillot, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), responded.

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One major accident away from bankruptcy.

Boeing’s Setbacks Show Why US Industries Lose Competitive Edge (Sp.)

Boeing’s problems keep piling up. The company faces a new inquiry over B787 Dreamliner safety inspections and is feeling the blowback from sanctions on Russia. Passengers and crew members have been evacuated from a Corendon Airlines Boeing 737-800 after one of the plane’s tyres burst during landing in Turkey. The accident occurred on Thursday at Gazipasa, an airport near the Turkish town of Alanya. It was the third serious incident involving one of the aviation giant’s aircraft in just two days, the Daily Mail noted. Bad news has dogged Boeing for the past few years, undermining its profits and driving down its share price. Earlier this week, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened a new probe into whether the Seattle-based corporation broke rules during inspections of its long-haul B787 Dreamliner passenger jet, and whether its employees falsified aircraft records.

The FAA announced last month that Boeing had “voluntarily” revealed that some of its employees had not performed required tests to confirm adequate bonding and grounding of the fasteners connecting the wings to the fuselage, and had then falsely reported the checks had been completed. Quoting a source familiar with the issue, CBS News said as many as 450 aircraft could be affected, including around 60 airframes still on the production line. According to the FAA, the aircraft still in Boeing’s possession are undergoing re-inspection, while the company maintains that the reported “misconduct” would not pose an “immediate safety-of-flight issue.” The FAA’s latest inquiry comes on the heels of a US Congressional investigation into the safety culture and manufacturing standards at Boeing. Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer, told Congress last month that the industrial giant was cutting corners to speed up production — which is fraught with acute safety risks.

The whistle-blower also complained that Boeing employees raising red flags over quality issues were “ignored, marginalized, threatened, sidelined and worse.” He told Congress that he was afraid of being subjected to “physical violence” after exposing the aerospace corporation’s flaws Two other Boeing whistleblowers, Joshua Dean, former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, and John “Mitch” Barnett, a former Boeing employee, passed away in May and March, respectively. Dean died after a short illness, while Barnett was found dead in an apparent suicide. Barnett and Dean both raised the alarm over manufacturing defects in Boeing’s 737 Max and other planes, after a series of crashes involving the aircraft. In January, all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes were temporarily grounded by the FAA after a door panel blew out on an Alaska Airlines flight. The same month, an oxygen leak was discovered on board a Boeing 737. Remarkably, the aircraft was scheduled to carry US Secretary of State Antony Blinken from the Davos World Economic Forum.

At least ten more whistle-blowers, including former and current employees, are ready to testify against the aerospace company, the Independent reported, quoting lawyers for both Dean and Barnett. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Boeing is facing a new problem stemming from anti-Russia sanctions, imposed by the US over Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine. As a result, the industrial giant cannot deliver enough B787 Dreamliners. According to the WSJ, the trouble was caused by a lack of heat exchangers – temperature-regulating parts for the B787 – which were previously produced in Russia. Even though the production was shifted to the US and the UK, new factories have proven incapable of keeping up with demand.

Boeing’s inability to obtain enough heat exchangers disrupted the pace of Dreamliner manufacturing. The company was forced to warn investors that it will not deliver as many planes as anticipated this year. American Airlines blamed Dreamliner delays for its decision to suspend some international and long-haul flights this year and next. Boeing also severed ties with a major Russian titanium supplier and halted selling spare parts and maintenance services to Russian airlines that operate its passenger planes. The WSJ admitted that US anti-Russia sanctions significantly backfired on Boeing and jet manufacturing in general, naming Russia “a big player in the global aerospace supply chain.”

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China possesses approximately 370 warships, compared to the US fleet of 291 vessels. In 2023, China added 30 ships to its fleet [..] the US built only two warships last year..”

Aging US Fleet and Drained Stockpiles No Match for China and Russia (Sp.)

The US Navy faces delays in vessel repairs and a sluggish pace in construction of new warships. The crisis was reported by the US Naval Institute (USNI) and the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), according to Asia Times. Diana Maurer, Director of Defense Capabilities and Management at the Government Accountability Office, testified to the Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee on May 1. She revealed that fewer than 40 percent of US Navy ships had completed repairs on time, despite available space in shipyards. According to the GAO, “the Navy has not developed a full cost and schedule estimate for its Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) – an effort to improve its dry docks, facilities, and equipment – and reports that it will not be able to do so until Fiscal Year 2025.” Maurer signaled that shipyard conditions are second only to F-35 Lightning II sustainment costs, raising the alarm over the Navy’s readiness.

In his own congressional testimony, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral James Kilby acknowledged that issues related to “ship production and repair” rank among the top challenges confronting the US Navy today. The US Navy’s ship design practices are largely outdated, which contributes to the slower pace, less predictable costs and performance outcomes of warship construction when compared to commercial shipbuilding. According to GAO, the Navy has been slow to embrace new design tools such as 3-D modeling and digital twinning, and still provides its contractors with 2D design data for legacy ship classes. Shipbuilders also complain that the Navy is usually slow to provide vendor-furnished information (VFI) – the documents that shipyards need as input to engineering and design products – to feed digital models. The Navy’s contractors want clearer technical tasks as well as funding for acquiring and implementing new digital tools.

The issue has been raised amid the US growing competition with China and the Biden administration’s saber-rattling over the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea. At the Senate panel’s hearing, Republican Senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska lamented that the building of new submarines and surface warships in the US is well below the pace set by China. Last July, a leaked US Navy intelligence briefing slide published by The War Zone revealed that China’s shipbuilding capacity is 232 times greater than that of the US. While the People’s Republic’s shipyards have a capacity of over 23.2 million tons, the US capacity is less than 100,000 tons according to the leaked presentation, which was confirmed as authentic in September 2023 by a US Navy spokesperson.

The US Naval Institute admitted in 2021 that China already boasted the world’s largest navy, while in February 2024, US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) commander Admiral Samuel Paparo warned that Beijing was winning the shipbuilding numbers game. According to Congress, China possesses approximately 370 warships, compared to the US fleet of 291 vessels. In 2023, China added 30 ships to its fleet, 15 of which were large surface combatants including cruisers, destroyers. and an additional aircraft carrier. By contrast, the US built only two warships last year.

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“..claiming that inflation was 9 percent when he came into office, when in reality it was 1.4 percent..”

Biden Denies Economic Reality In Car Crash CNN Interview (MN)

During a brutal CNN interview aired Wednesday, Joe Biden looked shocked when host Erin Burnett reeled off a list of stats detailing how bad the economy is. Instead of suggesting how he is going to improve the situation, Biden denied any of it was real and claimed every poll showing Americans favouring Trump on the economy is wrong. “Voters, by a wide margin, trust Trump more on the economy,” Burnett noted, before listing possible reasons for that including the cost of buying a home having doubled, real income accounting for inflation being down, economic growth being way short of expectations and consumer confidence being near a two year low. “Are you worried that you’re running out of time to turn [the economy] around?” Burnett asked Biden. “We’ve already turned it around,” Biden bizarrely claimed, before adding that “the polling data has been wrong all along.”

When Burnett pointed out that Grocery prices are up almost a third, Biden shrugged it off and claimed Americans “have the money to spend.”

He repeated the tired lie about creating millions of jobs that everyone knows is complete rubbish because he’s including jobs that were reinstated from the pandemic:

Biden also told an absolute whopper, claiming that inflation was 9 percent when he came into office, when in reality it was 1.4 percent. After Biden took office, inflation surged to rates unseen since the early 1980s, peaking at an annual rate of 9.1 percent in June 2022, a full 17 months after he took office. Yet, he is claiming it was ALREADY at 9 percent. Since Biden took office, the average prices of goods and services have increased 19 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. By comparison, during Trump’s four years in office, prices increased by 8 percent, or roughly 2 percent per year, which is the normal annual rate of inflation.

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Good thing he went to see her.

Tucker Carlson Interviews Biden Accuser Tara Reade (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has released a 22-minute interview with RT contributor and former US Senate aide Tara Reade, who rose to prominence after accusing Joe Biden of having sexually assaulted her back in 1993. The interview was recorded in Moscow, where Reade moved last year due to concerns for her safety in the US. In 2020, at the height of the US presidential election campaign, Reade publicly accused Biden of having subjected her to a “violent sexual assault” on the Capitol grounds in 1993. She was working on the Democratic senator’s team at the time. In a 2021 interview, President Biden said the incident “never happened.” In her interview with Carlson, Reade recounted how the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI had “harassed” her, claiming that she had even received “death threats. According to the former aide, US authorities built a case against her after accessing her email and social media accounts.

She added that, while the FBI and the DOJ had come close to indicting her, they wouldn’t disclose what her supposed crime was as the whole case was “sealed.” Reade suggested that the real reason behind the legal proceedings was her failure to ‘shut up’ about the sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by Biden. She claimed that the mainstream US media had lapped up “innuendos” about her, with most outlets working as “proxies of the US government.” Reade added that, in addition to her sexual harassment allegations against Biden, her recent criticism regarding the state of the US economy as well as the “proxy war against Russia via Ukraine” had made US authorities view her as a “traitor.” She said this was all the more “heartbreaking” because she had spent years working for the Democratic Party, and “believed in it wholeheartedly.” “I’ve never committed a crime. I’m not a traitor. I’m not a spy,” she told Carlson.

Tara Reade

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Who is the weak link?

Whole West Is Working To Supply Ukraine – Putin (RT)

The collective West has been working tirelessly to arm Ukraine against Russia, seeking to destroy it in its present form throughout the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He made the remarks while hosting a group of military commanders in the Kremlin who have distinguished themselves in the special operation against Ukraine. The meeting took place on Tuesday after Putin’s inauguration for his fifth term in office, but was released only on Thursday amid Victory Day celebrations. “We know, and you know this better than anyone else, the enemy has enough modern tools, since the entire Western community is working for our enemy, dreaming about Russia ceasing to exist in its current form,” Putin stated.

The collective West itself has created a “system of confrontation,” believing Russia to be a “weak link” in it, the president explained. The conflict with Ukraine, however, has already proven that is not the case and the West was mistaken, Putin stated. “I am sure they are now convinced that this was far from the reality, and rather the opposite is true,” he said. Putin underscored the need to further develop military technologies and be “one step ahead” of the country’s adversaries in order to be “successful.” Among other things, Putin commended on the efforts of Russian civil society to actively support the country’s troops and supply the military with assorted additional tools, ranging from mask nettings to sophisticated drones.

“In our country, as we often say, the so-called people’s military industrial complex is growing now. To be honest, when I meet with those who are in one way or another involved in such activities, the combat work in the civilian sphere, I, frankly, am surprised myself,” Putin stated. In order to be truly effective, however, civilian crowdfunded projects still require the state’s involvement and support, the president said. “Of course, all this must be concentrated in a certain way, everything must be sorted into the right places in a certain way, and supported at the state level. That’s what we are doing,” Putin concluded.

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“..based on the desire to justify current followers of the Nazis..

West ‘Trying To Distort’ History Of WWII – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has used his address at the military parade in Moscow celebrating the 79th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany to accuse the West of “distorting the history” of the conflict. He also accused the US-led bloc of wielding “colonial policies” aimed at elevating a few nations by restraining the development of other sovereign states. According to Putin, Western nations “would like to forget the lessons of World War II.” “We see how they are trying to distort the truth about World War II – it interferes with those who are accustomed to building their essentially colonial policy on hypocrisy and lies. They demolish memorials to true fighters against Nazism and place traitors and Nazi collaborators on pedestals,” the president said. He called this revanchism policy a “mockery of history” based on the desire to justify current followers of the Nazis.

“These [actions] are part of the general policy of Western elites of inciting more and more regional conflicts, interethnic and interreligious hostility, and restraining the development of sovereign independent states,” Putin stated, noting that no country or military bloc has a right to do so, which World War II proved. We reject any state or alliance’s claims to exceptionalism. We know what the exorbitance of such ambitions leads to. This year’s Victory Day celebration is taking place amid a tense geopolitical situation due to the Ukraine conflict, in which most Western states have firmly taken Kiev’s side. Over the past two years, many Western leaders have been spreading what Moscow calls Russophobia, claiming that Russia may attack Europe if it secures victory in Ukraine. Putin emphasized that while Russia would do everything possible to prevent a global conflict, it will not allow anyone to threaten its own safety and sovereignty.

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Eva

 

 

17 million

 

 

1000s

 

 

Feather star
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788199677097091323

 

 

Bees

 

 

Break
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788300348085407848

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 082024
 
 May 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Younger St. George’s Kermis with the Dance Around the Maypole 1634

 

Trump Classified Documents Trial Postponed Indefinitely (ZH)
RFK Jr. Challenges Trump To Debate (RT)
Putin’s Inauguration – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Sent Message to West That Russia is ‘There to Stay’ as Major Power (Sp.)
Dialing Down Expectations On A US–Saudi Security Pact (Bhadrakumar)
The Real Reason Macron Is Pushing The French Troops Narrative For Ukraine (Jay)
There’s A Careful Plan Behind Xi’s European Tour (RT)
White Genocide is in the Cards that Are Being Played (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boeing Investigated Over Falsified Plane Records (RT)
Breathe Deep….. (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

RFK by Woody

 

 

Title 18

 

 

Every day looks crazier than the one before. Does Jack Smith still have a job?

Trump Classified Documents Trial Postponed Indefinitely (ZH)

One day after postponing a filing deadline in Donald Trump’s classified documents case, Judge Aileen M. Cannon has postponed the whole thing indefinitely. In a Tuesday decision, Cannon vacated (canceled) Trump’s May 20 trial date, and wrote that setting a new date given the enormous stack of pre-trial matters would be “imprudent.” On Monday, Cannon postponed a filing deadline for Trump’s team to provide a list of classified documents they want to present at trial – which was supposed to be filed by this Thursday. Cannon did not announce a new deadline, perhaps the first clue into today’s decision. The move also comes after special counsel Jack Smith’s team admitted that the classified files at the heart of the case had been tampered with, and they needed more time to assess that revelation.

Smith also misled the court, after originally telling U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that the boxes remained “in their original, intact form as seized,” when in a footnote they conceded that they removed classified documents and left placeholder sheets, which prosecutors acknowledged has created an “inconsistent” record – in which some of the documents are no longer in the same order as they appear in digital scans made in the fall of 2022. “The Government acknowledges that this is inconsistent with what Government counsel previously understood and represented to the Court,” the footnote reads, according to Just the News. The finding comes after Cannon ordered a review into whether the FBI may have seized legally privileged records in response to a request from Trump co-defendant Walt Nauta.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1787981231478505641

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What would Trump have to win from this?

RFK Jr. Challenges Trump To Debate (RT)

US independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has challenged former President Donald Trump to a debate at this month’s Libertarian National Convention. Trump insists that Kennedy is “not a serious candidate.” “I’d like to make you an offer. We’re both going to be speaking at the upcoming Libertarian convention on May 24 and 25,” Kennedy wrote in an X (formerly Twitter) post on Tuesday addressed to Trump. “It’s perfect neutral territory for you and me to have a debate where you can defend your record for your wavering supporters.” Asked last week whether he would debate Kennedy, Trump said that the former Democrat is “not a serious candidate” and would have to “get his numbers a lot higher before he’s credible.”

In his post on Tuesday, Kennedy claimed that a poll commissioned by his campaign showed that he would “crush” President Joe Biden in a two-way contest, and would defeat Trump “in a nail-biter” in a similar matchup. Polls published last month by CNN and Quinnipiac both showed Kennedy at 16% in a contest involving him, Trump, Biden, and other independents, a result that he argued puts him “above the 15% debate threshold.” “I’m also drawing a lot of voters from your former supporters. They are upset that you blew up the deficit, shut down their businesses during Covid, and filled your administration with swamp creatures,” Kennedy wrote. Known for his anti-vaccine activism, free-speech advocacy, and foreign policy pacifism, Kennedy entered the race for the White House as a Democrat last April, before announcing in October that he would run as an independent instead. His effect on this November’s election has proven difficult for pundits to predict, with polls showing him pulling support from both Biden and Trump.

“The Democrats are frightened that I’m gonna spoil the election for President Biden, and the Republicans are frightened that I’m gonna spoil it for President Trump,” Kennedy said last year. “The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them.” Trump and Kennedy will both deliver headline speeches at the Libertarian Party’s convention in Washington DC later this month, despite the fact that the party also intends to field its own candidate for the presidency. In a statement last week, Trump encouraged Libertarian Party members to back his campaign. “If Libertarians join me and the Republican Party, where we have many Libertarian views, the election won’t even be close,” he said. “We cannot have another four years of death, destruction, and incompetence. WE WILL WORK TOGETHER AND WIN!”

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Began Final Stage of Russia’s Purge of Malign Western Influence..

Putin’s Inauguration – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

In his speech at his inauguration ceremony, President Putin paid special emphasis to his responsibility as head of state “to protect Russia and serve our people,” and expressed Russia’s readiness for dialogue with the West, so long as the latter drops its efforts to restrain Russia’s development and apply pressure on the country. “Dialogue is possible, including on issues of security and strategic stability. But not from a position of strength, without arrogance, conceit or personal exclusivity, but only on equal terms, respecting each other’s interests,” Putin said. In the meantime, the president said, Russia will continue to work with its partners toward Eurasian integration “other sovereign development centers” to speed the formation of “a multipolar world order and an equal and indivisible security system.”

At home, Putin stressed, the foundations of Russian statehood include “interethnic harmony, the preservations of the traditions of all peoples living in Russia – a civilization unified by the Russian language and our multicultural culture.” The task of the state going forward will be to “ensure reliable continuity in the development of the country for decades to come, to raise and educate young generations who will strengthen and develop the country,” he said. Putin’s inauguration speech was very different from the televised address he gave when he first became acting president in 1999, but is nevertheless linked by one very important common theme, Scott Ritter told Sputnik. “In his inauguration speech, Vladimir Putin made it clear that the security of Russia and the Russian people are his top priority. Why would he have to say this? Because as we speak, Russia finds itself under attack from many nations around the world – nations that seek the existential extermination of Russia, if not through violence, then through economic strangulation,” Ritter said.

By contrast, in 1999, Russia faced a threat of a different sort, according to the commentator. “In 1999, Russia wasn’t facing attacks from without from foreign influence, but rather attacks from within,” Ritter said, pointing to the deep infiltration of Western economic and political interests, and Western values, both into Russia’s government, and among ordinary citizens. “This was a Russia that had lost touch with itself,” the observer said. Over Putin’s tenure, Russia has gradually “purged” itself of these attitudes, Ritter said, with the conflict in Ukraine serving as a catalyst accelerating Russia’s transformation, forcing elites and ordinary citizens alike to reconsider who they are and what defines them.

Going forward, Ritter expects Putin’s new term in office to “redefine Russia in the final stages of this transformation that it has been making continuously since 1999, a Russia that will for once and all purge the poison of Western malign influence out of its system, and create a pure Russian notion of what Russia is.” As for communication and potential cooperation with foreign power centers, it will be defined by Western readiness to respect Russian independence, the commentator said. “Vladimir Putin made it clear in his speech that he is seeking good relations with the West. Russia’s not seeking to dominate anybody. But Russia wants to live in peaceful coexistence with its Western neighbors as an equal, as a nation defined not by Western values, but by Russian values,” Ritter summed up.

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“.. to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.’”

Putin Sent Message to West That Russia is ‘There to Stay’ as Major Power (Sp.)

Newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin has sent a clear message to the West that “Russia is there to stay as one of the world’s major powers,” strategic analyst Paolo Raffone told Sputnik. The director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels cited Putin’s remarks signaling Russia’s intent to “use political and diplomatic means to defend its lawful interests,” while remaining “open to negotiations and dialogue.” In his inauguration speech, Putin “rightly claims that after 2000, he, with the support of the Russian people, ‘stood firm against the attacks of international terrorism and saved the country from the very real threat of collapse,’” Raffone noted. The analyst singled out two cornerstone statements by the Russian president. First, that, “The main objective of the coming six years is now ‘to transform the potential we have built up into a new development energy and to use it to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.’”

Second, that “Russia’s success and prosperity ‘cannot and should not depend on one single person or one political party, or political force alone. We need a broad base for developing democracy in our country and for continuing the transformations we have begun.’” “Putin underlines that he ‘serves’ the interests of Russia that has chosen him again as president. Putin acknowledges that the post-2000 recovery of Russia is still underway, and he summons the peoples of Russia to strengthen social cohesion to continue the path of ‘transformations’ and ‘develop democracy.’ Two statements and two goals that are a cornerstone of his new term in office,” Raffone said. As for the US-driven calls in the Western capitals and mainstream press to delegitimize the Russian presidential election process, “It is the continuation of the historic confrontation of Anglo-Saxon powers against Russia,” Raffone explained.

He weighed in on the fact that representatives of Western countries stayed away from the ceremony. While the UK, Canada, and most European Union nations opted to boycott the swearing-in, France, Hungary, and Slovakia sent their ambassadors, Raffone pointed out, noting that the “tune is set by the US that is faced with tremendous domestic and external challenges in the months ahead of the November elections.” “Despite the US/UK-imposed boycott, there is no united Western front against Russia… The reaction of Anglo-Saxon powers against Russia is a weak representation of the relativization of their global standing, a process with which their political elites have difficulty to come to terms. Despite their bellicose rhetoric, there is mounting sentiment that the relations with Russia cannot be eased without fresh diplomatic initiatives,” Raffone concluded.

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Power has already shifted.

Dialing Down Expectations On A US–Saudi Security Pact (Bhadrakumar)

A historic security pact may be in the making between the United States and Saudi Arabia that could open a pathway to the kingdom’s normalization with Israel. Both sides are eager to close a deal that will replace their famous ‘oil-for-security’ bargain struck in 1945. A caveat must be added, though. That 80-year-old agreement between president Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al-Saud has been tested in recent years as the global balance of power shifted and eroded some of their mutual trust. With last decade’s Arab Uprisings, the once-reliable lines of communication between Riyadh and Washington became strained, and back channels diminished. Issues of reliability, due to trust deficit and waning US influence, began weighing down the once solid alliance. Three particular developments underscored that the pillars of the US–Saudi relationship had become shaky:

First, the creation of OPEC+, the brainwave of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), which launched an era of more independent production policy; second, Riyadh’s decision to join the multipolar BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); and third, the Saudi decision to normalize relations with Iran, a commitment formalized in a Chinese-brokered peace deal in March 2023. The raison d’être of a renewed US–Saudi partnership is not in doubt. The dramatic events of 7 October 2023 in the Gaza envelope shattered the Biden administration’s notion that the Palestinian problem was “resolving itself” and that all that was needed was a neat Saudi–Israeli normalization. Instead, the issue of Palestine roared back to the center stage of West Asian security, and there is no leeway left to hoodwink the region, dissimulate empathy for the Palestinian cause, or strut around as a Good Samaritan on the Arab street.

Equally, Iran played its cards efficiently to bring the Axis of Resistance to the forecourt, something that rattled the Gulf Arab regimes, which, in turn, also provided a window of opportunity for the Biden Administration to re-engage their old allies. The linkage between regional ceasefire demands, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and calls for the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas has enabled Washington to regain its footing as the key interlocutor on the diplomatic track. Nonetheless, it remains a slippery slope for the US to reinsert itself as the main influencer in the region. Too much has changed in West Asia and the world in the interim. The broad strategy pursued by the Biden team is to nurture the new ecosystem around the Abraham Accords that Donald Trump patented by envisaging an Israeli–Saudi deal as the linchpin of a broader political agreement.

The White House imagines this would pave the way for Gaza’s reconstruction and the establishment of a Palestinian state that would go a long way to integrate Israel into its Arab neighborhood while allowing Washington to turn its attention to the Asia–Pacific and Eurasia to impede China’s rise and erode Moscow’s capacity to provide strategic space for China on the global stage. Rather than a robust strategy, the above is a breathtakingly ambitious pipe dream given Washington’s growing list of existential challenges: an economy under the weight of the unprecedented debt burden; counterstrategies by the Russia–Iran–China axis; the threat of “de-dollarization” gaining traction in the world economy as more and more countries in the Global South are experimenting with alternative currencies in their international settlement.

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“..over 20 years ago French soldiers tried to fight Sudan rebels and were reported to have fled the battlefield when they were actually fired upon with live rounds..”

The Real Reason Macron Is Pushing The French Troops Narrative For Ukraine (Jay)

Emmanuel Macron is in the news again with his repeated suggestion that French troops could be sent to Ukraine to fight in the war there against Russian forces. This time it is in the supposedly prestigious British highbrow Economist, which is happy to repeat this empty mantra over and over again, largely, one supposes, as it supports a broader narrative of the EU which it is a servant of in Brussels. There is no relationship more unhealthy and repugnant than that of The Economist and the European Union with the former happy to play the role of free propagandist and PR enactor for the latter. How Macron can keep repeating this entirely empty threat, which even he himself has admitted to a French magazine won’t happen, is astounding. Did someone ask him to do this once again and arrange it in The Economist? Perhaps at a high level in Brussels? How else to explain this latest ejaculation of utter nonsense?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto condemned the latest remarks and has warned such a move could ultimately spark an all-out nuclear war. Speaking to French broadcaster LCI, Szijjarto strongly condemned the idea, saying that the French leader’s comments themselves have contributed to escalating the situation. “If a NATO member commits ground troops, it will be a direct NATO-Russia confrontation and it will then be World War Three,” Szijjarto told the broadcaster. Macron himself has moved on though since his original comments to the Parisienne magazine which kicked it all off a few weeks ago. The more recent interview with The Economist clearly shows that he has even reflected on his own rambling and looked deeper at how he could refine the narrative, presumably to get more attention on the issue. However, it’s an act of a desperate politician, which analysts interpret one of two ways; it is either a cry of help directed towards the Biden administration to do the very act themselves and send American troops there; or it is simply a PR stunt to keep him in the international press, a zone which is like a crack addiction.

Like Trump, Macron seems to want to do and say anything – no matter how absurd – to keep him on the front pages, so to speak. Of course, the reaction of Macron, desperate as it seems, is entirely logical when we consider the events on the ground. Russia is gaining territory so western elites have to prepare their media campaigns which deflect blame away from themselves which is partly what the cry from Macron and other EU leaders for expanding their militaries is all about. When Russia takes Kiev, they will all cry “we told you so” and keep on arguing for bigger military spending. The narrative really is one of a loser. It is what you would expect from the losing side preparing to retreat and to save their political careers. Macron and most western leaders do not wish western media to point the finger at a series of catastrophic errors since day one, which have collectively contributed towards the retreat.

And so now, in The Economist, we see Macron define what he laughably believes could be the criteria for sending French troops to Ukraine: Russian breaking through the lines. But even western media like The Economist knows that this is folly and the whole Macron game is really a pack of lies. And yet they keep the lies alive. Perhaps, arguably, Hungary’s recalcitrant foreign minister also helps Macron and his ramblings muster credibility simply by rising to the bait and adding media oxygen. Szijjarto talks about the possibility of an all-out war if the French leader would go ahead with such a preposterous idea and mentions the use of nuclear weapons. But is there something here that we’re all missing? A bluff which both Macron and Szijjarto are playing? You don’t have to look too far to see what it might be.

NATO is planning to put together a proposal for a 100bn dollar war chest of cash for Ukraine and the fearmongering from Macron might be aimed at scaring Hungary into not going ahead with its veto to such a package – or rather aimed at other countries who would directly lobby Hungary to sign it off. No one in NATO’s headquarters in Brussels believes for one moment that France is capable of sending troops to Ukraine who would actually fight Russian soldiers and The Economist knows this only too well which is why it is call centre journalism on their part to print such garbage, which may well have been paid for from NATO’s pocket or Macron’s. Some NATO buffs, counting down the days to retirement will remember how over 20 years ago French soldiers tried to fight Sudan rebels and were reported to have fled the battlefield when they were actually fired upon with live rounds. We are all still having a great laugh about that on the dinner party circuit in Brussels even to this day.

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Aiming for the weak spots.

There’s A Careful Plan Behind Xi’s European Tour (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a state visit to Europe. On what is his first trip to the EU since 2019, he has visited France and Hungary and concluded the tour in Serbia. The trip comes at a pivotal moment, when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is attempting to flip the EU institution against China, having initiated dozens of probes on Chinese products in recent weeks. Likewise, the US has aggressively ramped up rhetoric accusing Beijing, accusing it of complicity in the Ukraine conflict, designed of course to undermine Xi’s credibility on his trip.

Despite von der Leyden’s blatant pro-US bias, it is quite obvious that the loyalty of EU nations has become the subject of a battle between Washington and Beijing for influence in the emerging geopolitical struggle. Although of course the EU is in theory aligned with the US, through its dominance of institutions such as NATO, China’s foreign policy for many years now has focused on attempting to exert all influence to prevent the EU from fully aligning itself with Washington’s goal of containing Beijing, instead seeking to preserve open economic ties with the continent. To this end China has devoted an extensive diplomatic effort to Europe, an effort it doesn’t feel worth making towards the US, or even the UK.

Continental Europe is a mixed bag, and depending on the political status quo there are some states who are favourable to China, and some who are not (such as the Baltic states), and thus China sees it important to uphold the bastion of support where it can. As a result, Xi has dedicated his visit to three countries who are currently favourable towards Beijing: France and Hungary within the EU and Serbia outside the bloc. First, France is a Western-aligned state which has always been famous for its “maverick” foreign policy derived from its position as a former empire in its own right. Emmanuel Macron in particular has always been keen to go against the grain and has continued to engage with Beijing, even visiting China himself last year.

Traditionally, the most enthusiastic large EU country towards China is in fact Germany, and that is still visible, for example in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Beijing several weeks ago. However, German politics has become a domestic tug of war over China, as the foreign ministry is controlled by the neoconservative Green Annalena Baerbock, who has attempted to try and undermine ties with Beijing. This of course has been met with resistance from the German Industry lobby, while US-funded think tanks also try to undermine German ties with China to the best of their ability. As a result, it is not politically convenient for Xi to visit Germany, and thus he chose France, where opinions seem more comfortable with its “maverick” role.

His second destination, Hungary, under Viktor Orban has carved out a niche as being the most pro-Beijing state in the whole EU. Orban has an even more maverick foreign policy which also seeks healthy ties with Russia. However, its small size means it cannot steer the entire bloc’s agenda. Despite this, Budapest is a very important partner for Beijing because it serves as a gateway for Chinese investment and other projects to amplify themselves on the continent when doors are being shut elsewhere. Such as, building an overseas campus for Fudan University, or a Chinese electric car factory, which is critically important if the commission is wielding the threat of tariffs. But not only that, Hungary occupies a strategic position in central Europe above the Balkans which is the terminus of a Chinese economic corridor that starts with the port it owns in Piraeus, Greece. And between Greece and Hungary lies Serbia. Although Serbia is not part of the EU, it is a critically important nation in the Balkans which has stormy relations with the West owing to the massive bombing campaign NATO waged against it in the 1990s.

It is a nation which dislikes the West, but has no power to directly resist as it faces pressure to integrate into the EU, and a sovereignty issue over Kosovo. As a result, Serbia’s well being depends on its ability to court relationships with third-party powers such as Russia and China to secure geopolitical clout. For China, Serbia thus becomes another focus point, or safe-haven, to project influence into Europe. Since the Ukraine conflict began, China has taken the subtle position of opposing the expansion of US-led western institutions, recognising them as a tool of hegemony that will be used against it. As a result, strengthening ties with Belgrade has become part of Beijing’s effort to keep its foothold in the continent, both politically and economically – it has created as a commercial passage utilising its role as part of the Balkan corridor.

Hence, Xi is reportedly going to try and upgrade relations with Serbia. After all, it is a place where China can invest and thus, sell to Europe, without EU and NATO interference. It is also hoped Serbia will join BRICS eventually. Thus, while Xi’s visit to France, one of the EU’s leading states, is to ensure the bloc does not unite against Beijing, his visit to Serbia and Hungary is strategic by design in using them as projection points in ensuring China’s commercial ties with Europe can be upheld amidst resistance by powerful individuals such as Ursula von der Leyen.

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“They are doomed. Perhaps a few will be kept in zoos as examples of racist evil.”

White Genocide is in the Cards that Are Being Played (Paul Craig Roberts)

Three decades ago in my book, The New Color Line, I pointed out that Alfred W. Blumrosen, compliance chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, turned the statutory language of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on its head and used the EEOC to create race-based legal privileges for blacks, thereby reducing white Americans to second-class citizenship. In place of equal employment opportunity Blumrosen and the liberals of the time used “affirmative action” to create and enforce privileges for blacks in university admissions, hiring and promotion. These privileges created in defiance of Congress by a regulatory authority were the opening wedge against our then merit-based system and created the acceptability of racial discrimination against white Americans.

At the time the liberals admitted that it amounted to privileged treatment of a race, but said it was to be temporary in order to give blacks a leg up. It has now been 60 years, a time period that is not temporary. As I pointed out, once privilege is set in law, it becomes a property right of the privileged supported by the passage of time and precedent after precedent. Even though the racial privilege is unconstitutional, those privileged by it have squatters’ rights in the privilege. My book was favorably reviewed by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, by Irving Kristol, editor of The Public Interest, by Judge Robert H. Bork, by the New York Times Book Review, by The Wall Street Journal, by the Washington Post, by California Governor Pete Wilson, and many others. Henry Regnery said that my book was the most important work his firm had ever published. Yet my book had zero effect.

Three decades after its publication American corporations, universities, and the US military have institutionalized racial discrimination against white Americans. 60 years too late Tucker Carlson has raised this issue with Jeremy Carl who has just published The Unprotected Class: How Anti-White Racism is Tearing America Apart. As a large percentage of the white population has been indoctrinated into seeing themselves as guilty and undeserving, the white majority is incapable of rectifying its second-class legal status. As the white American majority is rapidly disappearing under the Democrats’ policy of open borders and recruitment of immigrant-invaders into the United States, within a few years time not even the theoretical possibility of restoring American whites to equality under the law will be possible.

If you want to see your future, read Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints. The Camp of the Saints is an accurate description of the fate of the Western World. We are experiencing that fate now. If you dare to know your future and that of your children and grandchildren, you can read this novel that correctly predicted our future in 1973. The book was a best seller, but the rot had already set in. Today the book is suppressed. You can read it here: https://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDFs/Camp_of_the_Saints.pdf As racial denigration of white ethnicities is institutionalized in every Western government, all white ethnicities can expect the same fate. The fate of white ethnicities is sealed. They have lost their countries and are reviled by their own white governments, universities, and media. They are doomed. Perhaps a few will be kept in zoos as examples of racist evil.

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It used to have an excellent reputation. Gone in just a few years.

Boeing Investigated Over Falsified Plane Records (RT)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it has launched a probe against Boeing to ascertain whether one of its factories may have omitted mandatory inspections and whether employees may have falsified records. The inquiry was begun after the company itself informed the FAA about what it called “misconduct” at its factory in South Carolina. The issue revolved around the beleaguered 787 program, according to media reports. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a two-aisle plane used mostly for long-haul flights. “The company voluntarily informed us in April that it may not have completed required inspections to confirm adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes,” the FAA said in a statement. According to the agency, “Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”

No planes were taken out of service following the discovery, according to AP. The company only ordered additional checks at its final assembly plant in North Charleston, delaying the aircraft delivery, the news agency said. The company’s shares dropped by 1.5% late on Monday following the news. Following inquiries by the media, the aircraft manufacturer released an internal email written by the head of the 787 program, Scott Stocker, who said that a worker at the South Carolina factory noticed an “irregularity” in the required wing-to-body joint tests and reported the issue to his manager. “After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed,” Stocker admitted, adding that the company was taking “swift and serious corrective action” as a result.

The development is the latest in a series of issues confronting the company. Last week, it reported that the lack of a key component was delaying production of the Dreamliner. It blamed the issue on sanctions against Russia, adding that the required parts were produced by a joint US-Russian venture. The company also recently told investors that it would not be able to deliver as many Dreamliner jets as had been planned this year due to shortages of heat exchangers and cabin seating. Monthly production of the Boeing 737 MAX has also fallen to single digits as the company is still dealing with manufacturing issues in the wake of an incident that saw a door plug blow out mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines plane in January. The 737 MAX has been plagued by mishaps, including two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in more than 340 deaths.

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“Mature fast casual dining and chip companies selling for 70x earnings are fantasy-land nonsense and yet both are the case right here, right now.”

Breathe Deep….. (Denninger)

=I travel quite a bit. Like most people I have my habits — places I like, things I go to do and if I enjoy them I’ll go back and do them again. This means I see patterns and, unlike many, I tend to notice them immediately. Perhaps its a blessing — or perhaps a curse. I just got back after one such trip; one I’ve made before and Sarah and her boyfriend both came as well (her boyfriend has not been on this trip before, but she certainly has.) They traveled separately but we met up and had a good time. If you’re in the market you ought to be making up a big fat list of things to be short — or at least be out of the things you’ve had and are long of, particularly when you can get a 5%+ risk free return in the short end (the 13 week bill, for example) of the Treasury market. I was stunned at the deterioration I saw in consumer behavior from just a month or so ago on my prior trip, and gob-smacked at the change over three months or so back when Sarah and I were out at Wolf Creek, also a place I like to go on a repetitive basis (for skiing, of course.)

There was evidence of it then on our travels which were over a large part of the same path we took back in September for our trip out to the Grand Canyon. That which was jammed full was not, and yet there wasn’t a serious price delta between those two trips; that is, while there had been lots of inflation over the previous couple of years (and it was obvious) there wasn’t anything that was a sort-of “trigger moment” associated with the change, and being winter .vs. late summer, ok, maybe it was seasonal and frankly, the delta was small. This time it wasn’t small and in addition there were serious price hikes that were attempted — and appear to have had an instant impact. I’m talking about sit-down fast-casual places I like when traveling and lots of others do too in that they’re always slammed to the point that if you want to eat there during the dinner hours I hope you like their “get a sort of reservation on their app” thing or sit at the bar if its just one of you — because if not you might be waiting an hour.

Well, that was gone. And not a little gone either. The place had plenty of tables with no wait and the parking lot had lots of spaces too. But it wasn’t one place — on the way home I stopped at another I’ve been in a dozen times over the last five or so years, again, at dinner time, and a third of the tables were empty. But what else was shocking? A roughly 40% total price increase over a couple of years ago and of that 10+% that just got tacked on with all the menus having just been reprinted in the last couple of weeks. It appears that last grab for cash finally hit people’s pain points and they stopped showing up. I also saw “fast food” style places co-located with fueling stations on the highway shuttered and boarded up — and that’s entirely new, and of other chains I pay some attention to during the same times in the afternoon and evening their parking lots are half-full or less.

Yes, this is “shoulder season” — or is it? Not really. Its graduation season and a lot of people are in fact traveling for precisely that reason; in another few weeks it will be the start of “traditional summer” with Memorial Day. Folks, there are no rate cuts coming because there can’t be into this government spending level without an explosion in inflation. Without taking on the place in the federal spending game where all the money is going (that’s health care) there is no fix. Attempting to work around it with more offshoring, more robots, more data centers (and “ai” in them) and similar won’t work either because you can’t print money — you can only print credit and to obtain money someone has to do something of value for someone else in excess of its costs.

When costs ramp that excess closes and eventually goes negative — and at the point it does that activity becomes uneconomic. If you continue to do it through various machinations such as the government playing handout games you run the risk of an exponential runaway and collapse. But what you should keep in mind is that never in reasonably-modern history do markets let you get to that endpoint. They didn’t in 2000 or in 2008 either. All the hollering about “subprime being contained” proved to be nonsense; the underlying bubble that “supported” the charade was seen through before the endpoint and the market imposed its own view of things whether policy makers liked it or not. Mature fast casual dining and chip companies selling for 70x earnings are fantasy-land nonsense and yet both are the case right here, right now.

I get it that nobody likes the implications of prices having to collapse by a third to come roughly into line with incomes, but its fact. Further its at least double that in the capital markets because common stock always has an element of leverage in it (otherwise why would it sell at a “multiple” of earnings at all — and yet it always does, does it not?) The believe that The Fed “must” or “will” step in and prevent such a reversion to the mean is absurdly common — after all, they have stepped in through the last two decades (or even more) but in doing so each time they’ve made the imbalance worse and now the exponential nature of such deficit spending and debt load are here rather than a future problem. For those who believe that it will “never fail” or worse, that you’ll get plenty of warning before something serious breaks I have three words for you: SOLD TO YOU.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bird dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787924335732113456

 

 

Elk

 

 

Explain

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 032024
 


Vincent van Gogh Avenue of Poplars at Sunset 1884

 

Justice in a Shithole Country (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Scores $1.8 Billion Windfall After Significant Increase In Truth Social Stake (ZH)
Anti-Trump Prosecutor Pleads 5th As House GOP Probes Links To Biden DOJ (ZH)
The US Constitution Is Another Victim of Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)
US Republicans Want To Oust House Speaker (RT)
To Israel’s Horror, Hamas Brings ‘Two-state Solution’ Back Into Focus (Cradle)
Of Journalists, Students and Power (Patrick Lawrence)
Jews Did Not Kill Jesus – US House of Representatives (RT)
Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly (RT)
Hungary Rejects €100-Billion Ukraine War Chest ‘Madness’ (RT)
British Knight Unhorsed (Helmer)

 

 

 

 

Show trial

 

 

Lysander Lynx

 

 

Musk Tulsi Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785758824634499292

 

 

 

 

“Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, to lying to Congress, and a judge has said that it is likely that Cohen also committed perjury. Yet, Cohen is Bragg’s witness against Trump.”

Justice in a Shithole Country (Paul Craig Roberts)

Russiagate, documentsgate, insurrectiongate, pornstargate and the phony civil and criminal trials being orchestrated against President Trump demonstrate that Democrat attorney generals, prosecutors, and judges have no integrity, no respect for law, and regard law as a weapon to be used against those who stand in the way of their agendas. Consider, for example, the 34-count indictment brought by black Trump-hater New York city district attorney Alvin Bragg solely on the basis of Bragg’s assertion that Trump falsified business records by reporting extortion payments to an aging pornstar, who apparently threatened to make accusations to disrupt Trump’s presidential campaign unless Trump paid her off, as a legal expense instead of a campaign contribution to his campaign. It is an absolute fact that business owners and business executives do not make decisions about how expenses are reported.

Such decisions are the responsibility of accountants and attorneys. All Trump did was to sign papers prepared by accountants and attorneys, but of course Bragg, a quota-hire, is too stupid to understand how business functions. Bragg claims, further demonstrating his stupidity and incompetence, that Trump interfered in the 2016 presidential election and got himself elected President by hiding his payment to the pornstar as a legal expense. Bragg’s contention is that otherwise the presstitutes would have used the unsubstantiated pornstar’s allegations to defeat Trump’s 2016 election as president. How did something this absurd get to be a court case. Clearly, this is NOT THE WAY A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY WITH A RULE OF LAW BEHAVES. It is the way a shithole country behaves. A shithole country is what Democrats have turned America into.

Bragg’s stupid case based on nothing but Bragg’s assertion of how an expense should be reported so that it can be used as a weapon against Trump–and Bragg is not an accountant–has as its only support Trump-hater Michael Cohen, who wrote a book that claims “Donald Trump is the mirror into the depth of the soul of government corruption. He is the standard bearer for corrupt dictator wannabes. He is the poster boy for fascism.” Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, to lying to Congress, and a judge has said that it is likely that Cohen also committed perjury. Yet, Cohen is Bragg’s witness against Trump.

Moreover, the fake charges against Trump are misdemeanor charges, NOT FELONIES. Yet Bragg is falsely presenting them as felonies, claiming that the alleged misreporting of the expense constituted “election fraud.” Bragg does not have to worry about not having a case. He knows that in NYC the jury will convict Trump even if the entirety of the evidence proves Trump innocent. All Bragg has to do is to bring an indictment. The jury will convict. Nowhere in America, not in the media, trials, medical science, or scholarship do facts any longer matter. All that matters are agendas upheld by official narratives. There you have it. This is justice in a shithole country. Be a proud American. “USA, USA, USA!”

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White House, Letitia and Engoron are discussing how to take it all away.

Trump Scores $1.8 Billion Windfall After Significant Increase In Truth Social Stake (ZH)

Donald Trump has added roughly $1.8 billion more to his net worth after regulatory filings show that he increased his stake in Truth Social by a significant degree – bringing the former president’s ownership to nearly 65% in Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). Trump secured an additional 36 million shares of TMTG, bringing his stake to 114.75 million shares, according to an April 30 filing with the SEC. According to the latest price of nearly $50 per share, Trump’s stake in TMTG is valued at around $5.7 billion. The additional $1.8 billion was secured through 36 million additional “earnout shares” granted if TMTG hit certain performance metrics over a certain period, according to an April 15 filing. That said, Trump can’t sell any shares due to a six-month lockup agreement. As the Epoch Times notes further, TMTG shares have been on a roller-coaster ride since the company listed on Nasdaq last month through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and was snapped up by Trump supporters and speculators.

Following the merger and initial public offering (IPO) at the end of March, market interest exploded in TMTG, which trades under the ticker symbol DJT. Its stock price soared above $79 per share on its first day of trading, sending the company’s market cap to over $7 billion. After the initial surge of interest, TMTG shares pulled back to around the $62 mark, where they traded until news broke on April 1 that, in 2023, the company suffered a $58 million loss. Word of the loss sent its stock price on a downward trajectory, to $22.84 by April 16, which marked a bottom. Since then, TMTG shares have rallied, with only one meaningful pullback between April 19–23, and are now trading at $49.90 per share, the highest since an April 3 close of $48.81. Much of the $58 million loss that sent the stock price falling on April 1 appears to be related to an interest expense of $39.4 million on its outstanding debt, according to the 8-K filing. In 2022, the company made a net profit of $50.5 million.

The former president said on April 4 that media fixation on the $58 million loss was misguided. He touted TMTG fundamentals—which he said include over $200 million cash and no debt—as “very solid.” TMTG CEO Devin Nunes echoed that in an April 1 statement: “Closing out the 2023 financials related to the merger, Truth Social today has no debt and over $200 million in the bank, opening numerous possibilities for expanding and enhancing our platform.” “We intend to take full advantage of these opportunities to make Truth Social the quintessential free-speech platform for the American people,” he added. TMTG’s meteoric rise and subsequent wobble sparked massive interest in shorting the stock—meaning betting money on its potential price decline.

Mr. Nunes recently asked Congress to investigate allegations that TMTG stock was being manipulated by traders betting on its downfall. In a recent letter to top House Republicans, Mr. Nunes urged lawmakers to open an investigation into “anomalous trading” and possible even “unlawful manipulation” of TMTG stock. Mr. Nunes expressed concern about “naked” selling of TMTG stock, which is the practice of traders selling shares of a company without borrowing them first, according to the letter. The tech CEO added that the company has become the “single most expensive stock to short in U.S. markets” as of early April, arguing that traders now “have a significant financial incentive to lend non-existent shares” of the stock.

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Self-incrimination.

Anti-Trump Prosecutor Pleads 5th As House GOP Probes Links To Biden DOJ (ZH)

House GOP investigators are investigating several individuals related to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Trump, including one top prosecutor who was previously a senior DOJ official during the Biden administration, and a 2023 video of another prosecutor pleading the 5th (privilege against self-incrimination) when asked if he broke any laws while investigating President Trump. When asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) if he knowingly broke any laws while investigating President Trump, ex-Bragg prosecutor Mark. F. Pomerantz invoked the right during a May 1, 2023 deposition. “In a closed-door deposition, I asked Mark Pomerantz very simple questions regarding whether he committed crimes or violated the civil rights of any people in the course of his investigation of President Trump and his tenure at the Manhattan DA’s office,” Gaetz told Newsweek in a Thursday email.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is investigating another top prosecutor on Bragg’s team – Matthew Colangelo, who’s leading the “politicized” prosecution against the former President. wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) in an April 30 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, as part of the committee’s oversight of “politically motivated prosecutions.” “That a former senior Biden Justice Department official is now leading the prosecution of President Biden’s chief political rival only adds to the perception that the Biden Justice Department is politicized and weaponized,” wrote Jordan. As the Epoch Times notes further, Mr. Colangelo, who delivered the opening statement in President Trump’s so-called “hush money” trial in New York last week, joined Mr. Bragg’s office in December 2022.

For a period of time, Mr. Colangelo also worked as Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives at the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led a separate case against President Trump that accused him of inflating asset values to get better loan terms and that ended in a $464 million judgment against the former president. During his time at the office of Ms. James, who has also been accused of political motivations in her prosecution of the former president, Mr. Colangelo was involved in the investigation into the Trump Organization. In his letter, Mr. Jordan is demanding that Mr. Garland provide various records related to Mr. Colangelo’s work in the Justice Department, as well as any communication between Mr. Bragg’s office and the DOJ related to President Trump or any of his businesses.

“Given the perception that the Justice Department is assisting in Bragg’s politicized prosecution, we write to request information and documents related to Mr. Colangelo’s employment,” Mr. Jordan wrote, while alleging that Mr. Colangelo’s recent employment history “demonstrates his obsession with investigating a person rather than prosecuting a crime.” In the so-called “hush money” case, Mr. Bragg has charged President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide nondisclosure payments that Mr. Colangelo alleges amounted to a criminal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has maintained his innocence and has called the case a “political witch hunt.”

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“Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs points out the incongruity of a university, whose existence is based on freedom of speech, repressing freedom of speech.”

The US Constitution Is Another Victim of Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)

A 19th century plantation slave suffered less abuse than an American today and was less likely to have his head cracked open by a police baton than a Columbia University Student. [..] Republican US senators are no better friends of the US Constitution than the administrators at Columbia University, Netanyahu and the Israel Lobby, the NYPD, and the whore media. For example, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R, TN) labeled as “terrorists” students who protest against Israel’s destruction of Palestine. In order to protect Israel from students protesting genocide, Blackburn wants the students added to the terrorist watch list and prohibited from flying: “Any student who has promoted terrorism or engaged in terrorists[sic] acts on behalf of Hamas should be immediately be [sic] added to the terrorist watch list and placed on the [Transportation Security Administration] No Fly List,” Blackburn wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

Senator Rick Scott (R, FL) accuses protesting students of violating Israel’s right to commit genocide and wants the US Justice (sic) Department to investigate the students for “conspiring to violate the civil rights of a religious minority.” US senators are falling all over themselves pimping for Netanyahu’s final solution to the “Palestinian Problem.” One can see American conservatives supporting these demands, not realizing that their own Constitutional rights are in the crosshairs. Today in America there is no thought. There is only manipulated emotion and the sale of Americans’ honor for campaign contributions. So what does voting fix? The 21st century began with the George W. Bush’s suspension of habeas corpus on suspicion alone, and American liberty has gone downhill continuously at increasing speed. Only a simulacrum of the country into which I was born remains.

Americans are not permitted to speak freely about Israel. Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs points out the incongruity of a university, whose existence is based on freedom of speech, repressing freedom of speech. Closing down voices is today the primary function of the Israel Lobby, media, universities and “education” in general. It applies to faculty as well as to students. The Israel Lobby was able to reach into a Catholic university and cancel the tenure awarded to Norman Finkelstein and into the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and cancel the tenured appointment of a recruit from the University of Virginia. One wonders If the Israel Lobby will order Columbia to fire Professor Sachs.

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They should have guessed what he would do.

US Republicans Want To Oust House Speaker (RT)

A number of Republicans in the US House of Representatives are reportedly looking to oust Speaker Mike Johnson. They accuse him of betraying his party by striking deals with the Democrats to pass major bills, including President Joe Biden’s $95 billion foreign military spending legislation that included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene announced on Wednesday that she would force a vote to vacate the Majority speaker’s position, arguing that “Mike Johnson is not capable of that job. He has proven it over and over again.” “I think every member of Congress needs to take that vote and let the chips fall where they may and so next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate,” she said. Taylor Greene had previously threatened to take action against Johnson when GOP lawmakers demanded the White House address the southern border crisis as a condition for their backing of Biden’s foreign aid bill.

Greene’s proposal has not gained the required majority support among fellow House Republicans, however. There were only two other Republicans, Reps Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Paul A Gosar of Arizona, who publicly backed her motion. Some lawmakers oppose it in the belief that “it’s not the time,” given the upcoming presidential election. Democrats, meanwhile, have also dismissed Greene’s attempt to oust the Republican speaker and have vowed to band together to protect Johnson by voting to kill the motion to vacate his position. “House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that. At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” reads a statement issued by the legislators.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” they said. J ohnson himself has also spoken out against attempts to have him removed, stating that “this motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country.” Greene, however, has pointed to Johnson’s Democratic support as yet another reason for him to be removed. “Now we have […] the Democrats coming out, embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss. And they are ready — they have endorsed him, they are ready to support him as speaker,” Greene stated, adding that “they want to keep it going, keep the band together. Why? Because Mike Johnson is giving them everything they want.” The congresswoman has not yet announced when exactly she will call the vote and whether she would force repeat votes on the issue if it fails next week.

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“Today, the two-state option is frantically being resuscitated in Washington, of all places, and by stalwart allies of Tel Aviv..”

To Israel’s Horror, Hamas Brings ‘Two-state Solution’ Back Into Focus (Cradle)

After seven months of a brutal military assault on Gaza, it is abundantly clear that Israel has not succeeded in eradicating Hamas. Instead of delivering a decisive military victory, the occupation state finds itself being drawn kicking and screaming into negotiations over a two-state solution. Withstanding the impracticality of establishing a genuinely independent, sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, this scenario is becoming increasingly likely despite long-standing opposition from the Israeli government. It is an extraordinary development, particularly as Tel Aviv’s strategy, as articulated by foreign policy advisor Ophir Falk, was mainly to “destroy Hamas” and its military and governance capabilities entirely. Today, the two-state option is frantically being resuscitated in Washington, of all places, and by stalwart allies of Tel Aviv.

Martin Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel and staunch supporter of the occupation state, argues in Foreign Affairs magazine that far from being “dead,” the two-state solution now looks to be the only reasonable game in town: “The reason for this revival is not complicated. There are, after all, only a few possible alternatives to the two-state solution. There is Hamas’ solution, which is the destruction of Israel. There is the Israeli ultra-right’s solution, which is the Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the deportation of Palestinians to other countries. There is the ‘conflict management’ approach pursued for the last decade or so by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which aimed to maintain the status quo indefinitely – and the world has seen how that worked out. And there is the idea of a binational state in which Jews would become a minority, thus ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. None of those alternatives would resolve the conflict – at least not without causing even greater calamities. And so if the conflict is to be resolved peacefully, the two-state solution is the only idea left standing.”

In widely publicized comments last week, Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza, has appeared to endorse the 1967 borders for a future Palestinian state explicitly. In a recent interview with AP, Hayya spoke of “a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the international resolutions” along Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Most significantly, though, he hinted that the resistance movement’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, could potentially dissolve itself and/or fold its cadres into a Palestinian national army: “All the experiences of people who fought against occupiers, when they became independent and obtained their rights and their state, what have these forces done? They have turned into political parties and their defending fighting forces have turned into the national army.”

Instead of embracing these possibilities, Falk dismissed Hayya as a “high-ranking terrorist” and sought to redirect the conversation back to intransigent Israeli demands: “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government set a mission to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities in Gaza, free the hostages, and ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel and the rest of the civilized world in the future,” he said, adding, “Those goals will be achieved.”

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“We watched Medea Benjamin of Code Pink get thrown out of the dinner for holding up a placard reading, “100 journalists killed in Gaza.”

Of Journalists, Students and Power (Patrick Lawrence)

The American media are never short of red-letter days when it comes to its wonderful combination of superciliousness and irresponsibility. But last week the mainstream dailies and magazines went all the way to scarlet and alizarin crimson. The brighter the better, I say, when the derelictions of our media are on display such that readers can no longer miss the deceptions and distractions that are at this point their intent. I was reading along over breakfast last Thursday in search of the overnight news on the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza when I came upon the headline in The New York Times, “Laundry Detergent Sheets Are Poor Cleaners.” Wow. This is a story The Times had been following since its April 5 opener, “The 5 Best Laundry Detergents of 2024,” but my friends on Eighth Avenue left me hanging. At last I could go forth into the day confident I was a well-informed American, altogether engagé.

Last Thursday, last Thursday: Wasn’t that the day the U.N. Relief and Works Agency reported that Israel’s military operations “continue from air, land and sea” and that “in northern Gaza only five hospitals remain operational, and in the south only six”? Yes, I read this on a U.N. website, but The Times didn’t have room for it. Then I was even better informed last Sunday, when The New Yorker published a long, delightfully inane conversation between David Remnick, who has very excellently overseen the ruination of what was once a good magazine, and Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian who always has a lot of important things to say. The occasion was … I shall let Remnick explain:

And now, for the first time, he has directed a movie. It is about a Russian Orthodox monk in the sixteenth century who starves himself to death rather than give in to the depredations of tsarist society. No, it isn’t. It’s about the race in the early sixties between Kellogg and Post to invent the Pop-Tart. Yes, really. It is called “Unfrosted” and will air on Netflix on May 3rd. It is extremely silly, in a good way. Extremely silly in a good way. I think I understand. Elsewhere in the news, as they say in the broadcast trade, the Israel Occupation Forces continued bombing Rafah as the Remnick item came out last Sunday—Rafah, the city in southern Gaza where the IOF had ordered Gazans to flee for their safety as they, the Israelis, bombed and bulldozed northern Gaza to the point of uninhabitability. But let us not allow brutalities of Medieval-style gore, savagery for which we pay, to disturb our psyches. With what shall our media fill our minds?

The dropping of American ordnance on Palestinian children or the history of Pop–Tarts, humorously told? We knew the answer by the time The New Yorker published the adolescent, time-wasting badinage Remnick and Seinfeld shared because we had watched—the caker over this past week—the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last Saturday evening. We watched a stream of reporters eager for some passing social connection to celebrity and power stride disdainfully by people demonstrating against the Israeli–U.S. genocide. We watched Medea Benjamin of Code Pink get thrown out of the dinner for holding up a placard reading, “100 journalists killed in Gaza.”

And we heard Colin Jost conclude his 23 minutes of sometimes-pithy humor with his ode to what was most conspicuously missing in that roomful of feckless poseurs. “Decency is why we’re all here tonight,” the television comedian said with unfeigned seriousness. “Decency is how we’re able to be here tonight.” By then Jost, at bottom a court jester, had already told his audience of narcissists, “Your words speak truth to power. Your words bring light to the darkness.” Yes, believe it, in the spring of 2024 people still say these sorts of things about corporate journalists. And the people so addressed take them to be true. Words. Words. Language, its use and misuse.

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They were there?!

Jews Did Not Kill Jesus – US House of Representatives (RT)

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at combating anti-Semitism in American universities amid continuing student protests against Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The Antisemitism Awareness Act was approved by 320 votes to 91 on Wednesday, with 21 Republicans and 70 Democrats being among those opposing the legislation. The bill would require the US Department of Education to adopt a broad definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which describes the phenomenon as “certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” It also contains a list of “contemporary examples of anti-Semitism,” which have been shared online by social media users, including Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has said.

Among the examples of hatred toward Jews mentioned in the document is “using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” Marjorie Taylor Greene was among the lawmakers who voted against the bill. “Antisemitism is wrong,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, but added that she would not support legislation that “could convict Christians of antisemitism for believing the Gospel that says Jesus was handed over to Herod to be crucified by the Jews.” Other anti-Semitic actions mentioned in the bill include “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel… than to the interests of their own nations,” making allegations “about a world Jewish conspiracy and or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government,” as well as “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Since mid-April, students have set up protest camps at more than 40 colleges across the US, demanding a stop to the violence in Gaza and an end to Washington’s support of Israel. The demonstrations were initially peaceful, but clashes have erupted at Columbia University in New York, UCLA, and other colleges as police moved in to disperse the gatherings. Hundreds have been arrested amid the unrest. Israel is facing increasing international criticism over the rising death toll among Palestinians following its latest invasion of Gaza. According to the enclave’s health ministry, more than 34,000 people have been killed in the ongoing airstrikes and ground offensive. The campaign was launched in response to the October 7 cross-border attack on Israel by Hamas, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and 250 taken hostage.

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Boeing is just like the Clinton family.

Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly (RT)

Joshua Dean, a former Spirit AeroSystems employee who raised the alarm over lax standards in the production of Boeing’s 737 MAX jet, has died following a sudden and severe illness. In March, another Boeing whistleblower was found dead in a hotel parking lot in what authorities tentatively described as a suicide. The 737 MAX airliner has had a history of accidents, including two leading to multiple deaths. In October 2018, one of the aircraft went down in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 189 people on board. Five months later, another Boeing 737 MAX – operated by Ethiopian Airlines – crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers and crew. The two tragedies prompted a 20-month grounding of the airliner.

In January, a Boeing 737 MAX-9 operated by Alaska Airlines saw one of its doors and part of the fuselage break away in midair, soon after takeoff. An audit by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of Boeing and one of its key suppliers, Spirit AeroSystems, subsequently “identified non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control.” Dean’s family members revealed that the former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems passed away on Tuesday morning. His relatives said he had been hospitalized just over two weeks ago with impaired breathing. Dean was intubated, developed pneumonia, and contracted a fast-spreading antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus infection. The 45-year-old, who is said to have been in good health and leading a healthy lifestyle, was put on a life-support machine.

In October 2022, Dean said he had uncovered a serious manufacturing defect in the production of a key component that helps Boeing’s 737 MAX maintain normal pressure. He claimed that management chose to ignore his warnings, after which he filed a complaint with the FAA, alleging “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line.”Spirit AeroSystems fired Dean in April 2023, accusing him of missing another major flaw. The whistleblower then filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, claiming his termination was in retaliation for his revelations. In March, former Boeing quality manager John Barnett, known for raising concerns about the firm’s production standards, was found dead with a gunshot wound days before he was due to give evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant.

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10-year plan in the US, 5-year plan in Europe. Forever war.

Hungary Rejects €100-Billion Ukraine War Chest ‘Madness’ (RT)

Budapest is opposing a potential €100-billion ($107 billion), five-year NATO plan to fund Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. The draft plan on the military aid fund was presented to member states of the US-led bloc by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this week, Szijjarto revealed. The minister made the remarks on Thursday to Hungarian broadcaster M1 before heading for a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in Paris.“On Tuesday, the NATO member states received the secretary-general’s proposal to raise 100 billion that NATO plans to spend on the war,” the diplomat said, adding that since the money is to be collected over five years, this means NATO “expects the hostilities to continue for this period.”

Budapest will oppose the initiative and is not planning to participate in arming Kiev or training its soldiers, Szijjarto stressed. The draft plan was presented to the bloc’s member states in its “first reading” and is still a subject to negotiations, the senior diplomat noted. In the coming weeks during negotiations we will fight for Hungary’s right to stay away from this madness, from collecting these 100 billion and siphoning them out of Europe. Budapest prioritizes the security of its own people before anything else and will do its best to “stay out of war,” Szijjarto explained, adding Hungary’s opinion remains that the conflict can only be resolved through negotiations. Nonetheless, Budapest acknowledges mounting global security issues and wants to be ready to face them, he said.

“We cannot ignore the threat of a new world war and the preparations for a nuclear war. This madness here in Europe must be stopped,” Szijjarto urged. Hungary has consistently expressed its opposition to the ever-growing involvement of the US-led NATO bloc – and of the EU – in the Ukrainian conflict, refusing to send arms to prop up Kiev or to train its troops, and forbidding use of its territory to funnel such shipments from third countries. Budapest has also publicly spoken out against the potential accession of Ukraine into NATO, which has long been one of the key goals of Ukrainian leadership.

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Helmer shouting match. For more see johnhelmer.net.

British Knight Unhorsed (Helmer)

The kings of Europe used to pay clever men to pretend to be fools in order to make jokes to amuse the monarch and his court. They were called jesters. A man who pretends to be cleverer than he is, and who tells jokes in order to fool others into making himself rich – they are hucksters. In the Jewish garment trade their merchandise is known as schmattes. This means “rags”; it was a Polish word before it was picked up in Yiddish — something cheap to make to be sold dear. By extension, peddling anything cheap and fast on false pretences is schmatte business. The Gentile word for this is a hustle. For the merchandise Sir Lawrence Freedman of London has been selling, he has been well paid personally, and the corporation he used to run when he was a professor of “war studies” at King’s College is now a multimillion-pound business. To collect money for himself, and also for his son, Freedman has used company identities whose financial reports can be read at the UK Companies House registry.

The operation optimizes on its tax liabilities to the UK Inland Revenue by following the advice of Judith Freedman, a professor of taxation at Oxford; she is Freedman’s wife. The turnover, costs, tax, and profit lines of the Freedman businesses give a glimpse into how it possible for him to appear regularly in books, newspapers, and corporate conventions in order to announce, as he advertised last week in a London newspaper, that the new US military supplies for the Ukraine will give the allies time to “restore [Kiev’s] battlefield fortunes”; solve the Ukrainian “manpower problems…as new recruits don’t face the prospects of being sent to fight with insufficient ammunition”; “time before they will have the strength to start liberating substantial amounts of territory”; and time to compel President Vladimir Putin to “contemplate the possibility that [the war] might yet again swing towards Ukraine”. The subjunctive “might” on the punchline is Freedman’s slip – he reveals he isn’t sure of the value of what he is selling.

Freedman was the British government’s official historian of the Falklands War and then a member of the Chilcot committee of inquiry on the British war against Iraq. He has also been a career-long Russia threat faker and fighter of the war his side keeps losing, as he keeps insisting on the reverse. This isn’t jestering, it’s huckstering. Freedman is for hire through an organ called All American Entertainment (AAE), which describes itself as “a full-service talent booking agency, specifically focused on the needs of event professionals looking to book keynote speakers and corporate entertainment for their events.” His pro-US credentials for fighting the war against Russia, and his pro-Israel credentials for fighting the war against the Arabs and Iran have earned him an engagement at a Zionist-financed think-tank in Australia which calls Freedman “the foremost authority on modern war in the English-speaking world.” Small world, if viewed from Sydney, Tel Aviv, or London.

Starting with a PhD entitled “The definition of the Soviet threat in strategic arms decisions of the United States: 1961–1974” – that’s the US targeting version of Russia — Freedman has monetized his war-fighting line through incorporation of a company called King’s College Business Limited, UK company number 02714181. Founded in 1992 with the name KCL Enterprises Ltd, it said it was an investment and commercial trading company without an express purpose, apart from making money. Freedman became a director in 1998 when he gave a home address in Wimbledon. On Freedman’s street, local realtors value the average house price at the moment to be £1.9 million; this is down 15% from its peak in 2017. War with Russia has been much more profitable for Freedman. Losing the war, that’s to say.

In 2007 Freedman was chairman of the board of directors of KCL Enterprises when it was decided to make the King’s College brand name more visible. According to the audited financial report for that year, the purpose of the company was “to assist King’s College London to market its research and consultancy capabilities.” The report reveals that turnover in 2007 was £2.3 million; it then grew by 55% in 2008 to £3.5 million. “Administrative expenses” came to almost the same total, meaning the company was operating for tax and expense optimization through which directors and King’s College academics like Freedman were running their consultancy and other fees. When Freedman retired from King’s College at the end of 2008, he also left the company board. It has gone on to quadruple its turnover in 2023 to £12.6 million. War against Russia is very good for business.

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Shar Pei

 

 

Blue whale
https://twitter.com/i/status/1786025591071732163

 

 

Russian bear

 

 

What lies beneath

 

 

 

 

Big bath
https://twitter.com/i/status/1786131306633424999

 

 

Puppies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785783023029432757

 

 

Doorbell

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 182024
 


John French Sloan A Woman’s Work 1912

 

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)
Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)
Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)
Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)
White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)
Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)
Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)
Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)
NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)
EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)
FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)
Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)
NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)
The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)
Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)
IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

 

 

Seems a bit extreme.

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Barron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780246703976632531

 

 

Watters jury
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780401543004426659

 

 

Tucker CIA

 

 

Talking about testosterone…

 

 

Boeing

 

 

Macgregor: “The United States has not commit to attacking Iran. This is unacceptable to Netanyahu, and he will work to alter Washington’s position.

Under the circumstances, Washington should expect Israel to employ whatever military power is at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, to destroy Iran’s strategic power.

Destroying Iran’s underground nuclear facilities has been a goal for a very long time. Both parties must realize Moscow will not tolerate a devastating attack on Iran.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning..”

“.. that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them..”

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)

From the beginning it has been completely clear that the criminal and civil indictments of Trump have the purposes of using up his energy, money, and time so that he cannot campaign and of discrediting him with the insouciant part of the population that is stupid enough to have faith in the “justice system.” The trials themselves and the words of the prosecutors and judges prove it. The black Democrat New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, put into office by anti-Trump billionaire George Soros, who Elon Musk says hates humanity (which means gentiles), has concocted a criminal case against President Trump for “falsifying business documents” that legal scholars dispute. Apparently, Bragg cares not a whit about his reputation, only about preventing Trump from campaigning. Bragg contends that Trump should have reported his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution to himself and not as legal fees. But, of course, it would have been one of Trump’s lawyers or CPA who filled in the form.

A person of Trump’s wealth leaves such decisions to professionals and does not himself navigate complicated and risky forms. Regardless, there is nothing illegal whatsoever in making extortion or bribery payments to a porn star so that she doesn’t make harmful accusations. It is a much cheaper solution than suing for slander. You should understand that there is nothing illegal about Trump’s payment to the porn star. The payment is perfectly legal. Trump is not charged with making an illegal payment. He is charged with reporting it differently than a black quota hire, clearly incompetent, George Soros DA alleges Trump should have reported it. The whore media has not made this clear to the public. Instead the presstitutes have planted the idea that it is the payment that is the criminal action.

In law the charges against Trump are misdemeanors, not crimes. Trump’s black enemy has in an unspecified way elevated the charges to a felony. Increasingly prosecutors do this. They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning. Prosecutors know that by the time a wrongly convicted defendant reaches the point that he can appeal the wrongful conviction to a higher court he will have run out of money and energy and will make a plea to a lessor charge. In Trump’s case, the black DA knows that given the slowness of the system Trump will be in court for years appealing wrongful decisions. As corrupt prosecutors suffer no punishment for their crimes against defendants, there is no barrier to their legal abuse of law–particularly when they are in court with a biased judge and have a biased jury. This first of 4 criminal trials began yesterday. Estimates are that the show trial will keep Trump in court for four days a week for the next six or more weeks. Clearly this is election interference and nothing else.

The other criminal trials are in various stages of disrepair. Fani Willis, the black Democrat Atlanta DA who has brought RICO charges against Trump and his attorneys is in trouble herself for paying her lover $700,000 of taxpayers’ money and using the money for vacations. She apparently is another George Soros plant and is shielded by the Democrat machine. She has had to remove her lover from Trump’s case, but is unlikely to suffer any consequences other than embarrassment. A New York civil case orchestrated by a black Democrat attorney general and a Trump-hating Democrat judge confiscated Trump’s NY real estate empire. In order to delay the confiscation until his higher court appeal is decided, the two required Trump to post a $500 million payment that would have depleted his cash for his political campaign. The payment was seen as a form of extortion, and the corrupt AG and judge had to reduce it to $175 million.

Clearly, these are not normal trials or normal charges. The law schools, bar associations, Congress and the whore media don’t even raise questions about the show trials that clearly constitute election interference. As I have said many times, the system will not permit Trump’s return to office. Americans need to understand that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them.

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“Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.”

Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)

A Holy of the Holies was shattered in the Holy Land as Iran staged a quite measured, heavily choreographed response to the Israeli terror attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus, a de facto evisceration of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity.This game-changer will directly interfere on how the Anglo-American system manages its simultaneous conflagration with Russia, China and Iran – three top BRICS members. The key problem is escalations are already built in – and will be hard to remove. The Total Cancel War against Russia; the genocide in Gaza – with its explicit policy masterfully decoded by Prof. Michael Hudson; and the decoupling/shaping the terrain against China won’t simply vanish – as all communication bridges with the Global Majority keep being torched.Yet the Iranian message indeed establishes a “New Equation” – as Tehran christened it, and prefigures many other surprises to come from West Asia.

Iran wanted to – and did send – a clear message. New equation: if the biblical psychopathic entity keeps attacking Iranian interests, from henceforth it will be counter-attacked inside Israel. All that in a matter of “seconds” – as the Security Council in Tehran has already cleared all the procedures. Escalation though seems inevitable. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak: “Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.” Compare it to Iranian President Raisi: “The smallest act against Tehran’s interests will be met with a massive, extensive, and painful response against all its operations.” For Tehran, regulating the intensity of the clash in West Asia between Israel and the Axis of Resistance while simultaneously establishing strategic deterrence to replace “strategic patience” was a matter of launching a triple wave: a drone swarm opening the path for cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The performance of the much-vaunted Iron Dome, Arrow-3 and David’s Sling – aided by F-35 fighter jets and the US and the UK naval force – was not exactly stellar. There’s no video of the “outer-layer” Arrow-3 system shooting down anything in space. At least 9 ballistic missiles penetrated the dense Israeli defense network and hit the Nevatim and Ramon bases. Israel is absolutely mum on the fate of its Golan Heights intel installation – hit by cruise missiles. Amidst classic fog of war, it’s irrelevant whether Tehran launched hundreds or dozens of drones and missiles. Regardless of NATOstan media hype, what’s proven beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the supposedly “invincible” Israeli defense maze – ranging from US-made AD/ABM systems to Israeli knockoffs – is helpless in real war against a technologically advanced adversary.

What was accomplished by a single operation did raise quite a few professional eyebrows. Iran forced Israel to furiously deplete its stock of interceptors and spend at least $1.35 billion – while having its escalatory dominance and deterrence strategy completely shattered. The psychological blow was even fiercer. What if Iran had unleashed a series of strikes without a generous previous warning lasting several days? What if US, UK, France and – traitorous – Jordan were not ready for coordinated defense? (The – startling – fact they were all directly dispensing firepower on Tel Aviv’s behalf was not analyzed at all). What if Iran had hit serious industrial and infrastructural targets?

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“..if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes..”

Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)

[..] the most intriguing question now is how the countries of the region, namely the Arab world, will react to Iran’s actions – after all, the attitude towards modern Tehran is quite mixed. Iran has been able to bolster its hand by using proxy organizations, which are now moving against Israel to defend the interests of Palestine. Judging by their neutral reactions – and quite unsurprisingly, in fact – none of the Arab leaders is interested in a strong Iran. They are interested in Iran existing as a moderate state allied with the West, with which they themselves cooperate. However, if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes.

Despite the IRGC’s counterattacks, Iran continues to maintain its position that nobody needs a war, and it’s not interested in one by any means. As for its strikes so far, Iran considers them quite successful; they succeeded in making a point and delivering ‘a clear message’ to the entire West that Tehran is no longer confining itself to verbal statements and that, in general, things are going to get very real. Furthermore, any potential response from Israel will now justify similar operations by Iran, which may become harsher and harsher every time. Besides, the moral victory also belongs to Iran. Tehran had held the situation in suspense all along, and the world witnessed strikes on military bases in the north of Israel and saw them take damage. Iran’s strike, albeit a token one, has happened. The Islamic Republic is beginning to act like the flagship power in the region.

In this case, Israel hardly needs a direct war with the Islamic Republic, especially with the Hamas issue not settled yet, Gaza still not demilitarized, hostages yet to be rescued, and Western allies offering nothing in terms of support but nice statements and condemnations. In the meanwhile, there are rather serious reasons to believe that Israel may not be able to keep its temper and strike, just for self-consolation. Expecting a response strike from Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, several days prior to the counterattack, that if Iran strikes from its territory, then Israel will attack in response. That means the Israelis could go further and continue their attacks. Yes, Netanyahu has changed his tone somewhat and tries to show now that he doesn’t want a big war. He, however, may be under pressure from the security wing, members of which yearn for revenge and want to blow off steam on Iran, which they think created the situation Israel has been in since October 7, 2023. If Israel does strike back, attacking Iranian territories and killing people, the situation will spin out of control and there will be no stopping the Iranians.

The goal of Iran’s counterattack against Israel was not to unleash a big war. This action can be seen differently: as a PR effort, a propaganda schtick, or muscle-flexing. Some may say that Iran failed to retaliate fully, as its attack didn’t achieve anything equal to the two generals and 11 diplomats that Israel’s strike had killed. The message of the counterstrike, however, was not only to take revenge for Iran’s dead. Tehran deliberately didn’t strike targets in major Israeli cities. Its strikes on Israel were limited, mostly targeting the occupied Golani Heights, which legally belong to Syria, and military installations in Negev desert, in order to avoid escalation and prevent further provocations on Israel’s part. Besides, Iran has proved that it can penetrate Israel’s air defenses and that Israel is not that well protected.

Therefore, Iran’s goal was to change the rules of the game in the region and, by and large, it succeeded. Tehran’s counterattack put paid to any talk of Iran not putting its money where its mouth is and brought the conflict between the two countries to a whole new level. This half-measure cannot be seen as a defeat, but it’s not exactly a victory either. Besides, Israel is not going to sit idle. The Jewish state will start reviewing its actions and correcting mistakes; after all, matters of its own security are the utmost priority for Israel.

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“These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.”

Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)

The Russians are coming — or coming back, better put. As the November elections draw near, let us brace for another barrage of preposterous propaganda to the effect Russians are poisoning our minds with “disinformation,” “false narratives,” and all the other misnomers deployed when facts contradict liberal authoritarian orthodoxies. We had a rich taste of this new round of lies and innuendo in late January, when Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who served as House speaker for far too long, asserted that the F.B.I. should investigate demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in Gaza for their ties, yes indeedy, to the Kremlin. Here is Pelosi on CNN’s State of the Union program Jan. 28: “For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine…. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the F.B.I. to investigate that.”

O.K., we have the template: If you say something that coincides with the Russian position, you will be accused of hiding your “ties to Russia,” as the common phrase has it. Be careful not to mention some spring day that the sky is pleasantly blue: I am here to warn you—“make no mistake” — this is exactly what “Putin,” now stripped of a first name and a title, “would like to see.” There is invariably an ulterior point when those in power try on tomfoolery of this kind. In each case they have something they need to explain away. In 2016, it was Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the polls, so we suffered four years of Russiagate. Pelosi felt called upon to discredit those objecting to the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza. Now we have a new ruse. Desperate to get Congress to authorize $60.1 billion in new aid to Ukraine, Capitol Hill warmongers charge that those objecting to this bad-money-after-bad allocation are… do I have to finish the sentence?

Two weeks ago Michael McCaul, a Republican representative who wants to see the long-blocked aid bill passed, asserted in an interview with Puck News that Russian propaganda has “infected a good chunk of my party’s base.” Here is the stupid-sounding congressman from Texas, as quoted in The Washington Post, elaborating on our now-familiar theme: “There are some more nighttime entertainment shows that seem to spin, like, I see the Russian propaganda in some of it — and it’s almost identical on our airwaves. These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.” I read in the Post that McCaul’s staff abruptly cut short the interview when Julia Ioffe, a professional Russophobe who has bounced around from one publication to another for years, asked him to name a few names.

So was this latest ball of baloney set in motion. A week after McCaul’s Puck News interview, Michael Turner, an Ohio Republican who, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, swings a bigger stick, escalated matters when, reacting to McCaul’s statements, reported that this grave Russian penetration was evident in the upper reaches of the American government, as again reported in The Washington Post: “Oh, it is absolutely true. We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti–Ukraine and pro–Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor.” Masked communications uttered on the House floor: Hold the thought, as I will shortly return to it.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson is about to get ousted. It’s all RINOs all the way down.

White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)

The White House said on Monday that it opposes the idea of a bill that would give additional military aid to Israel without funding Ukraine and Taiwan. “We are opposed to a standalone bill that would just work on Israel, as we’ve seen proposed. We would oppose a standalone bill, yes,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. Kirby’s comments came a day after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he would work on getting more military aid to Israel this week in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israeli territory, which came in retaliation for the bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus. Later on Monday, AP reported that Johnson told fellow GOP lawmakers that he plans to bring the package to the floor this week but will hold separate votes on funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Back in February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign military aid bill that included $60 billion for the proxy war in Ukraine, $14 billion to support the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians, and a few billion for Taiwan and other spending in the Asia Pacific region. While Johnson wants to hold separate votes, his plan is expected to send about the same amount of money to each country, and each measure will likely pass. He has been under increasing pressure from the White House and congressional hawks in both parties to bring the $95 billion bill to the floor for a vote. “Time is not on anyone’s side here in either case, so they need to move quickly on this,” Kirby said. “And the best way to get that aid into the hands of the IDF and into the hands of the Ukrainian soldiers is to pass that bipartisan bill that the Senate passed.”

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And Rand Paul.

Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie on Tuesday became the second representative to call for an end to Mike Johnson’s reign as Speaker of the House, joining Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene. He delivered that news directly to Johnson in a closed-door Republican conference meeting, telling the Louisianan “you’re not going to be the speaker much longer,” two representatives told Politico. Massie has criticized Johnson for backing aid packages for Ukraine and Israel, kick-the-can spending bills and the extension of warrantless NSA spying via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — while failing to bolster border security. In March, Greene — incensed at Johnson for collaborating with Democrats to push through a $1.2 trillion spending package over the objection of conservatives seeking spending cuts — filed a motion to “vacate the chair,” which would initiate a vote by House members on whether to fire Johnson from the job of speaker.

It’s unclear when Greene, Massie or someone else will call for a vote on the motion. Greene has said that she wants to allow time “for us to go through the process, take our time and find a new speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats.” She’s also expressed wariness over risking the GOP’s razor-thin House majority — which has withered in recent weeks as multiple Republicans announced they’re leaving Congress before finishing their terms. Massie says it’s only a matter of time before the House votes on Greene’s motion to vacate. “The motion is going to get called, OK? Does anybody doubt that? The motion will get called,” Massie told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting. “And then he’s gonna lose more votes than Kevin McCarthy. And I have told him this in private, like weeks ago.” Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was himself dethroned in October via a motion to vacate the chair.

While Massie and Greene are far from alone in their disappointment in Johnson, many of their disgruntled colleagues are wary of a scenario in which Johnson is ousted and the House spends days or weeks struggling to settle on a successor. “We saw what happened last fall when this all went down — there’s not an alternative…You are not going to get a majority of votes for any new person,” Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves told Politico. Massie has asked Johnson to first allow the party to select a successor, and then voluntarily step down. On Tuesday, Johnson was defiant. “I am not resigning and it is in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply trying to do our job,” he told reporters. Massie’s announcement in the closed-door meeting ruffled feathers. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan voiced his discomfort with the idea, saying, “We don’t need that, no way. We don’t want that. We shouldn’t go through that again. That’s a bad idea.”

On Monday night, Johnson compounded conservatives’ anger when he announced he would bring four separate measures to a vote: aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, aid to Taiwan and another bill with miscellaneous measures including a TikTok ban. As the New York Times explains, the goal is to cobble together legislation that would match what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is cooking up: If all four pieces passed the House, they would then be folded into a single bill for the Senate to take up, in an effort to ensure that senators could not cherry-pick pieces to approve or reject. “We’re steering toward everything Chuck Schumer wants,” said Massie. Decoupling the proposals also saps conservatives’ leverage to force more spending on border security. Greene called the plan “a scam” and added, “He’s definitely not going to be speaker next Congress if we’re lucky enough to have the majority.”

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“..officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.”

Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)

Last week Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote in a Tuesday op-ed that officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.” “These officials knew that the Chinese lab was proposing to create a COVID 19-like virus and not one of these officials revealed this scheme to the public. In fact, 15 agencies with knowledge of this project have continuously refused to release any information concerning this alarming and dangerous research. Government officials representing at least 15 federal agencies were briefed on a project proposed by Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” -Rand Paul. Paul was referring to the DEFUSE project, which was revealed after DRASTIC Research uncovered documents showing that DARPA had been presented with a proposal by EcoHealth Alliance to perform gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus. New documents released by Drastic Research show Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance had applied for funds that would allow them to further modify coronavirus spike proteins and find potential furin cleavage sites.

Now, Paul points to an email between EcoHealth’s Daszak and “Fauci Flunky” David Morens from April 26, 2020 (noted days before by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic), when the lab-leak hypothesis was gaining traction against Fauci – who funded EcoHealth research in Wuhan, and Daszak’s orchestrated denials and the forced “natural origin” narrative. In it, Daszak laments the “real and present danger that we are being targeted by extremists” (for pointing out that they were manipulating bat covid down the street from where a bat covid pandemic broke out), and called Donald Trump “shockingly ignorant.” He also told David that he would restrict communications “to gmail from now on,” and planned to mount a response to an NIH request which appears to suggest moving out of Wuhan – to which Daszak says “Even that would be a loss – we have 15,000 samples in freezers in Wuhan and could do the full genomes of 700+ Co Vs we’ve identified if we don’t cut this thread.”

Which means Daszak, funded by Fauci, lied when he said “every single one of the SARSr-CoV sequences @EcoHealthNYC discovered in China is already published.” And Anthony Fauci concealed the ‘700 unknown coronaviruses’ in Wuhan. Meanwhile, an EcoHealth progress report referenced “two chimeric bat SARS-like CoVs constructed on a WIV-1 backbone.”

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“..Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021..”

Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)

At his peak, Elon Musk was worth $340BN (Nov 2021) and stood alone as the world’s richest man/women/other. According to Bloomberg’s billionaires list, he is now worth mere $175BN… sliding to just the fourth-richest in the world as Tesla’s share price has declined and after a Delaware judge decided in January that Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021. But now, he may be about to climb that wealth ladder back to the top once more as Tesla has asked shareholders to vote again on the same $56 billion compensation package that was voided by a Delaware court early this year. Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm criticized the Delaware Chancery Court’s January decision, writing in the proxy that it amounted to second-guessing shareholders who had approved Musk’s performance-based award in 2018.

“Because the Delaware Court second-guessed your decision, Elon has not been paid for any of his work for Tesla for the past six years that has helped to generate significant growth and stockholder value,” Denholm wrote. The filing went on to say that negotiating a new pay package would take time and lead to incurring billions of dollars in additional compensation expense. Therefore, ratifying the 2018 package will be faster and “avoid a prolonged period of uncertainty regarding Tesla’s most important employee.” Additionally, the filing shows Tesla considered nine other states as alternatives to Delaware before narrowing its choice down to California, Nevada, New York or Texas.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that, according to the filing, dozens of institutional shareholders have contacted Tesla and expressed support for the 2018 compensation plan, including four of the top 10. The carmaker also said that thousands of retail investors have sent letters and emails to the board expressing the same sentiment. Of course, if this passes the shareholder vote, we assume the honorable Chief Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick – who described the company’s directors as “supine servants of an overweening master” – will have problems asserting that they hadn’t looked out for the best interests of investors… since it was the investors themselves, now fully informed, that democratically voted for Musk’s compensation plan. …or does democracy (and capitalism) die in Delaware?

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When the 1st Amendment becomes a hindrance…

NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)

It appears that National Public Radio has solved the problem of the intolerance for opposing views, detailed in an article by award-winning editor Uri Berliner: he is now out of NPR. Berliner resigned after NPR suspended him and various other journalists and the CEO lashed out at his discussing their political bias. For those of us in higher education, it is a chillingly familiar pattern. Editors, journalists, and listeners at the public-supported outlet will now be able to return to the echo-chambered coverage without the distracting voice of a dissenter. After Berliner wrote his piece in the Free Press, NPR CEO Katherine Maher attacked Berliner and made clear that NPR had no intention to change its one-sided editorial staff or its coverage. Others at NPR also went public with their criticism of him and falsely portrayed his criticism as opposed to actual racial and other diversity of the staff.

In his article, NPR’s David Folkenflik acknowledges that the Berliner criticism “angered many of his colleagues.” Maher response was hardly surprising. After years of criticism over NPR’s political bias, the search for a new CEO was viewed as an opportunity to select someone without such partisan baggage. Instead, it selected Maher, who has been criticized for controversial postings on subjects ranging from looters to Trump. Those now-deleted postings included a 2018 declaration that “Donald Trump is a racist” and a variety of political commentary. Maher was unlikely to address the problem. She is the problem. Maher lashed out at Berliner, calling his criticism and call for greater diversity in the newsroom “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning.” So now Berliner has resigned rather than work at a media outlet where he was shunned and denounced. In social media post on Wednesday, Berliner published his resignation letter to NPR leadership and stated “I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.”

It is all-too-familiar to many of us in higher education where conservatives, libertarians, and republicans have been purged from most faculties. This is done through a mix of filling open slots with liberal academics while making life intolerable for those who remain. For years, a conservative North Carolina professor faced calls for termination over controversial tweets and was pushed to retire. Dr. Mike Adams, a professor of sociology and criminology, had long been a lightning rod of controversy. In 2014, we discussed his prevailing in a lawsuit that alleged discrimination due to his conservative views. He was then targeted again after an inflammatory tweet calling North Carolina a “slave state.” That led to his being pressured to resign with a settlement. He then committed suicide just days before his last day as a professor.


Elon Musk: “The software running in her head is the anti-Grok – hates truth & humor”

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“Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies..”

EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)

The EU needs new leadership as the bloc’s current top officials have proven entirely unsuccessful, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed. Orban made the comments at the European Parliament on Tuesday as part of a public discussion with Former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the leader of the French National Rally party, Fabrice Leggeri. “Now we have a leadership in the EU with some major projects selected by themselves like green transition, RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) policy, migration, war [in Ukraine] and sanctions policy, and they all failed,” Orban said. “The present leadership of the European Union must go away. And we need new leaders,” the Hungarian prime minister insisted. Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies in order to bring change to the bloc.

According to the Hungarian leader, the rule of law and conditionality system created by the current EU leadership has “proved to be… an instrument of political blackmailing. If you do not behave as we expect, you do not get the money.” Hungary has not received “a single penny” from the RRF because European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has openly voiced dissatisfaction with Budapest’s reluctance to accept migrants and its opposition to the bloc’s gender policies, he said. The EU’s green transition “has failed because it has gone against [the] economic and industrial” interests of the bloc, Orban added. A switch towards climate neutrality should not be “politically motivated,” otherwise “it would destroy the competitiveness of the European economy. That is where we stand today,” he explained.

In contrast to many other EU members, the Hungarian leader has refused to provide arms to Ukraine and has consistently criticized the bloc’s sanctions against Russia over the conflict. According to Orban, the time has come for Brussels to define “what it should do with the issue of the war” in order to find a solution to the crisis and prevent similar ones in the future. Even goodwill gestures may “cause difficulties for the European economy,” such as the recent protests by farmers in Poland, France, Germany, and other nations partly caused by the preferences given by the EU to Ukrainian food suppliers, he explained. Orban also insisted that the issue of aid to Kiev should be “separated as much as possible from the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” formal negotiations for which were approved last year.

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Smart guy. Runs the company himself, with a crew of 30. 900 million daily users. No ads.

FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)

The former Fox News anchor and conservative media personality divulged that he had set up an official Telegram channel for his Tucker Carlson Network, encouraging the public to “keep an eye on the announcements there.” The channel has already attracted more than 150, 000 subscribers. Speaking with Tucker Carlson, Russian-born IT entrepreneur and co-founder of the Telegram social network Pavel Durov focused on a variety of topics, including his visit to the United States. The 39-year-old revealed that he was closely watched and monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during his time in the country. “We got too much attention from the FBI, [and] the security agencies, wherever we came to the US,” Durov said during the interview released on Wednesday.

According to the businessman, one of his top employees once told him that he had been approached by the US government. “There was an attempt to secretly hire my engineer behind my back by [US] cybersecurity officers,” Durov claimed. He argued that those officers were trying to persuade the engineer to use “certain open-source tools,” which he would then integrate into Telegram’s code that, in Durov’s opinion, “would serve as backdoors” for hacking the platform. The entrepreneur stressed that he believes what the employee said was true, adding, “There is no reason for my engineer to make up [such] stories.” When asked if infiltrating Telegram’s systems would allow the US government to spy on its users, Durov stated that he did not dismiss the possibility, acknowledging that any government could potentially carry out such an action. “A backdoor is a backdoor, regardless of who uses it,” he underscored.

The 39-year-old tech tycoon noted that he had “personally experienced similar pressure” in the US, where law enforcement officials approached him on many occasions. “Whenever I would go to the US, I would have two FBI agents greeting me at the airport, asking questions. One time, I was having breakfast at 9 am and the FBI showed up at the house that I was renting,” the businessman asserted. According to him, FBI agents knew what he and his team were doing, but the agents wanted the details. “My understanding is that they [also] wanted to establish a relationship to in a way control Telegram better. I understand that they were doing their job. [But] for us running a privacy-focused social media platform, that probably wasn’t the best environment to be in. We want to be focused on what we do, not on government relations of that sort,” Durov pointed out.

The interview comes just a day after Carlson published the first post on his newly-created Telegram page, the Tucker Carlson Network, where users will “get all the latest updates, behind-the-scenes insights, and exclusive content.”
There are already more than 150,000 subscribers for the channel, and their number is growing with every passing second.

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“..When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone..”

Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)

Apple and Google “could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” Pavel Durov, the co-founder of the popular messaging app Telegram has told Tucker Carlson in an interview; he lamented that the pressure coming from the tech giants is stronger than that exerted by governments. The entrepreneur has also said he received warnings from both the Democratic and Republican parties after the January 2021 riots in the US Capitol. The rare discussion took place at the Russian-born IT entrepreneur’s office in Dubai, and was released on Wednesday. Carlson asked Durov to give an example of a request to build backdoors into Telegram that crossed into censorship, and could be considered spying, or violating people’s privacy. The messaging app claims to have over 900 million active users.

“There was a funny story related to your home country,” the tech entrepreneur replied. “After the events of January 6, we received a letter from, I believe, a congressman from the Democratic side, and they requested that we share all the data that we have in relation to what they called ‘that uprising.” On January 6, 2021, a mob loyal to then-US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding in an attempt to prevent Congress from formalizing Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Durov said his team checked the letter and it “seemed very serious,” essentially saying: “if you fail to comply with this request, you will be in violation with the US Constitution.” “Two weeks after that letter, we got another letter, a new letter, from the Republican side of the Congress, and there we read that, if we give out any data [to the Democrats], it would be in violation of the US Constitution.

So we got two letters that said: whatever we do, we would be violating the US Constitution.” However, the most pressure on Telegram, according to Durov, comes from tech giants Apple and Google, Durov stressed. “I would say that the largest pressure is not coming from governments. It is coming from Apple and Google. When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” he said. “They make very clear that if we fail to comply with their guidelines, as they call it, Telegram could be removed from the [app] stores.” Durov dismissed any suggestion of links between Telegram and the Russian government, suggesting that competitors could be stirring up such rumours to discredit the company.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1780401691268931685

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“..through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope..”

NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is only days away from “taking over the internet” with a massive expansion of its surveillance powers, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In an April 16 post to X, Snowden drew attention to a thread originally posted by Elizabeth Goitein — the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice — that warned of a new bill that could see the U.S. government surveillance powers amplified to new levels. The bill in question reforms and extends a part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) known as Section 702. Currently, the NSA can force internet service providers such as Google and Verizon to hand over sensitive data concerning NSA targets. However, Goitein claims that through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope and force nearly every company and individual that provides any internet-related service to assist with NSA surveillance.

“That sweeps in an enormous range of U.S. businesses that provide wifi to their customers and therefore have access to equipment on which communications transit. Barber shops, laundromats, fitness centers, hardware stores, dentist’s offices.” Additionally, the people forced to hand over data would be unable to discuss the information provided due to hefty gag order penalties and conditions outlined in the bill, added Goitein. The bill initially received heavy pushback from privacy-conscious Republicans but passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13. Part of the pushback saw the bills’ proposed spying powers time-frame cut from five years to two years, as well as some minor amendments to the service providers included under the surveillance measures. However, according to Goitein, the amendment did very little to reduce the scope of surveillance granted to the NSA.

In her view, the amendment could even see service providers such as cleaners, plumbers and IT service providers that have access to laptops and routers inside people’s homes be forced to provide information and serve as “surrogate spies,” claimed Goitein. The bill has seen strong pushback from both sides of the political aisle, with several government representatives claiming the bill violates citizen’s constitutional rights. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden described the bill as “terrifying” and said he would do everything in his power to prevent it from being passed through the Senate. “This bill represents one of the most dramatic and terrifying expansions of government surveillance authority in history.” Republican Congressperson Anna Paulina Luna, who voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, said Section 702 was an “irresponsible extension” of the NSA’s powers. Luna added that if government agencies wanted access to data, they must be forced to apply for a warrant. The bill is slated for a vote on April 19 in the U.S. Senate.

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“..we already do not own anything..”

The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1 ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2024/04/11/the-great-dispossession/ ), I reported that we already do not own anything. The immediate response from readers is: what can we do to avoid dispossession? Offhand, the answer might appear to be debt-free property and gold and silver in personal possession. However, if the goal is that we own nothing and are controlled under a digital currency regime, these assets will be taken as well. Webb says if the billionaires and large financial institutions can be made aware of the situation, they could make Congress aware of the regulatory changes and force Congress to use its law-making power to undo the regulatory changes. After all, if there is no private financial property, there is no one to contribute to Congressional elections. Billionaires’ campaign donations elect the politicians, and what the regulatory changes do to billionaires is to reduce them to the same poverty as a homeless person. What the changes mean for large financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, etc., is their existence ceases.

Webb’s hope is the combined influence can undo the regulatory changes. The question is whether awareness can be generated. The fate of Congress is also at stake. In the Great Reset there is no input from the people and no function for Congress. As in all of my writings, I am trying to bring awareness. Little doubt the messenger will be shot. The purpose of Part 2 is to outline the regulatory changes that have been made that have turned our property in financial assets into the property of “secured creditors.” Webb terms them legal changes, which they are, but as I read it from regulatory, not legislative, action. Webb says the changes are global, but he only describes how the US and EU effected the changes for themselves. I am unable to imagine that Russia, China, Iran and any parts of the world not captured in the Western financial system are parties to the dispossession, especially under the regime of sanctions. As I read it, the dispossession that awaits is limited to the Western world and its captive countries. By global, perhaps Webb means the global operations of Western world financial organizations.

First some definitions: an “account holder” is you, your IRA, your pension plan, your stock and bond investments held at an “account provider” or “intermediary” or “depository institution” such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, Wells Fargo. An “entitlement holder” is the definition of you whose ownership claim to your financial assets has been subordinated to the claims of “secured creditors” of the institution where you have your accounts. Please do understand that the dispossession of which I write is your dispossession. As reported in Part 1, a country’s securities are pooled in a Central Security Depository (CSD). Each national CSD is linked to the International Security Depository (ICSD), which in the words of a 2013 report by the Bank for International Settlements Committee on the Global Financial System, makes available to “secured creditors” all available collateral (all of our stocks and bonds) and provides cross-border mobility of collateral from the “collateral giver” to the “collateral taker.” Yes, these terms are explicitly used, indicating recognition that theft is taking place.

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“..stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.”

The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1, I explained that the next financial crisis will be bailed out not with central bank money creation but with our stocks, bonds and bank balances. In Part 2, I explained the multi-year quiet regulatory changes that dispossessed us of our property. In Part 3, I explain David Rogers Webb’s conclusion that a massive financial crisis is pending in which our financial assets are the collateral underwriting the derivative and financial bubble and will result in the loss of our assets but leave us with our debts as happened to those whose banks failed in the 1930s. Webb begins with the economic formula that the velocity of circulation of money times the money supply equals nominal Gross Domestic Product. V x MS = GDP. The velocity of circulation is a measure of how many times a dollar is spent during a given period of time, e.g., quarterly, annually. A high velocity means people quickly spend the money that comes into their hands. A low velocity means people tend to hold on to money.

Velocity impacts the Federal Reserve’s ability to manage economic growth with money supply changes. If the velocity of money is falling, an expansionist monetary policy will not result in rising GDP. In such a situation, the Federal Reserve is said to be “pushing on a string.” Instead of pushing up GDP, money supply increases push up the values of financial assets and real estate resulting in financial and real estate bubbles. Webb notes that falls in velocity are precursors of financial crises. A multi-year sharp fall in velocity preceded the stock market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that gave birth to regulatory agencies. The 21st century is characterized by a long-term fall in velocity that has reached the lowest level on record, while stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.

Will the bubble pop? Yes. The Fed suddenly and rapidly moved from zero to 5% interest rates, a reversal of the policy that drove up prices of stocks and bonds. The Fed raises rates by reducing money supply growth, thus removing the factor supporting high stock prices and collapsing the value of bonds. This results in a lowering of the value of stocks and bonds serving as collateral for loans, which, of course, means the loans and the financial institution behind them are in trouble. Bonds have already taken a hit. The stock market is holding because participants believe the Fed is about to reverse its interest rate policy and lower rates. Webb notes that the official data show that the velocity of money collapsed in the 21st century while the Fed introduced “quantitative easing.” He makes the correct point that when the velocity of money collapses, the Fed is pushing on a string. Instead of money creation fueling economic growth, it produces asset bubbles in real estate and financial instruments, which is what we have at the present time.

When after more than a decade of near zero interest rates, the Fed raises interest rates it collapses the values of financial portfolios and real estate and produces a financial crisis. As the authorities have set in place a system that bails out secured creditors with our bank deposits, stocks, and bonds, we will have no money and no financial assets to sell for money. People with mortgaged homes and businesses will lose them, as they did in the 1930s, when they lost their money due to bank failures. People with car payments will lose their transportation. The way the system works is you lose your money but not your debts. The secured creditors are the creditors of the troubled institutions. Ultimately, the secured creditors are the mega-banks defined as “privileged creditors.”

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“We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing.”

Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)

Back in February, when everyone was predicting a Fed rate cut, precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter said rates would be going up and not down. Since that call, the 10-Year Treasury is up more than 30 basis points. It closed today at 4.67%. Now, Holter is still calling for higher interest rates that will coincide with higher gold and silver prices. Why? It’s called inflation, and it’s not temporary. Holter explains, “Foreigners are backing away from buying Treasuries. That is the only thing that has kept the doors open, so to speak, is the fact we are able to borrow an unlimited amount of money because we are the world reserve currency. Foreigners backing away from our debt is going to lead the Federal Reserve to be the buyer of last, and then, only resort. So, you will have direct monetization between the Fed and the Treasury. What that will cause is a currency that declines in purchasing power. It will decline in a big way, and it will decline rapidly. So, what I am describing is inflation that turns into hyperinflation.”

But that is not the end of our problems. Holter points out, “I do think it is going to get worse, and that means interest rates will go higher, and that will put on much more pressure. We are at 4.65% on the 10-Year Treasury now. We went from 3.75% to 4.65% (in a short amount of time). We run through 5% on the 10-year Treasury, and everything blows up. . . . The bottom line here is we are at the end game of a fiat currency. Young people have never experienced high inflation. . . . Where we are this time around, Paul Volker (Fed Head in 1979) was able to raise rates to 16% or 17% and crush inflation. He was able to do that because there was not a ton of debt. The U.S. debt back in 1980 was 35% of GDP. Now, it is 125% plus debt to GDP. If you raise rates to 6% to 8%, you will blow up the entire system because much of this debt was put on during the 1% to 3% interest rate time. . . . The inflation is going to push rates higher no matter what the Fed says.”

Gold is hitting one new record high after another. It’s not greed, but fear, and Holter says, “Big money is buying gold because they are looking for protection.” The other wild card is war, and Holter says, “War is a way to keep the system propped up.” In closing, Holter contends, what you are seeing is not a series of mistakes by incompetent people. Holter says, “This is too stupid for it not to be the plan. . . .This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing. They have to take the US down, and if they take the US down, so will the western financial system fall. If that happens, the globalists can have their way.”

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Brick wall right ahead.

IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised concerns about overspending by the US government, warning it has been reigniting inflation risks and undermining financial stability around the world. The US federal budget deficit jumped from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 to $1.7 trillion last year, according to the latest World Economic Outlook, issued by the IMF on Tuesday. “The exceptional recent performance of the United States is certainly impressive and a major driver of global growth,” the IMF said. However, the report explained that this “reflects strong demand factors as well, including a fiscal stance that is out of line with long-term fiscal sustainability.” The ballooning US national debt, which exceeded $34 trillion in December, and the fiscal deficit threatened to exacerbate sky-high levels of inflation while posing a long-term risk to the global economy, according to the report.

“Something will have to give,” the IMF warned. The US exceeded its debt ceiling, which was legally set at $31.4 trillion, in January 2023. After months of warnings of an imminent and economically disastrous default from the US Treasury, President Joe Biden in June 2023 signed a bipartisan debt bill that suspended the cap until January 2025. This effectively allowed the government to keep borrowing without limits through next year. Debt spiked to $32 trillion less than two weeks after the bill was approved, and has been piling up ever since. The debt held by the public could surge by $19 trillion over the next decade to surpass the $54 trillion mark, owing to the mounting costs of an aging population and higher interest expenses, according to recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Since entering office, Biden has spent trillions on Covid relief as well as on infrastructure. The US has also spent billions on aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration, however, has been insisting that tax cuts signed into law by then-President Donald Trump were to blame for the ballooning national debt. Last month, Biden unveiled a $7.3-trillion budget plan for 2025 which would push US debt over 100% of GDP, as he laid out a fiscal agenda that boosts spending but plans to save $3 trillion through higher taxes over ten years. Republicans in the House of Representatives have described the proposed budget as a “roadmap to accelerate America’s decline,” accusing the Biden administration of “reckless spending” and of engaging in a “runaway spending spree” that disregards fiscal responsibility.

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Dr Phil
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780432276536348760

 

 

Ladapo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780338991906078826


https://twitter.com/i/status/1780336890639475072

 

 

Cloud seeding

https://twitter.com/i/status/1780546767232122903
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780631970667536551

 

 

Buster
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780260040672415826

 

 

Chickady’s Birdhouse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780274925317574889

 

 

Bull dog

 

 

Wolf

 

 

Puppy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780651680528261376

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 162024
 


Charles Sprague Pearce The Arab jeweler c1882

 

“I Can’t Go To My Son’s Graduation”: NY Judge Threatens Trump With Arrest (ZH)
Trump Trial in Manhattan is an Indictment of the New York Legal System (Turley)
Jury Selection Begins In Trump Hush-money Trial (RT)
Johnson, Trump Announce Election Integrity Bill (ET)
US House Speaker To Put Ukraine Aid Bill To A Vote (RT)
How Iran’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Switched To Serious Deterrence (Pepe Escobar)
Iranian Strikes On Israel Represent ‘Spillover’ Of Gaza Conflict – China (RT)
Biden Tells Netanyahu US Won’t Support Attack on Iran (Antiwar)
US Mulling New Sanctions Against Iran Over Attack on Israel – Scalise (Sp.)
Netanyahu a Threat for Israel, Opposition Leader Says (TASS)
Ukraine ‘Owned’ by US, US ‘Owned’ by Israel – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
De-electrification And Unconditional Surrender Of The Kiev Regime (Helmer)
Germans Can Now Change Gender Every Year (RT)
The Palestine Congress (CJ Hopkins)
Two Senior Tesla Executives Leave Amid 14,000 Global Layoffs (ZH)
Airbus Beats Boeing For Deliveries In 2024 (ZH)
Trump Biopic To Compete At Cannes Film Festival (RT)

 

 

 

 

Habba
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779925234868470134

 

 

 

 

Look up Mary McCord
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779853383525933207

 

 

Jury
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779876987697295817

 

 

Pastor

Dalton

 

 

 

 

“..that I can’t go to my son’s graduation, or that I can’t go to the United States Supreme Court, that I’m not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina campaigning like I should be..”

Engoron tried to take away his money. So Merchan takes his freedom instead. Count on this judge to lock him up at some point. He’ll find a reason.

“I Can’t Go To My Son’s Graduation”: NY Judge Threatens Trump With Arrest (ZH)

Update (1750ET): The first day of Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial was fairly uneventful – aside from the judge, a complete dick, barring the former President from attending his son’s graduation and threatening arrest if he does. Speaking after a long day of jury selection and ground rules (with more than 50 jurors dismissed), Trump walked out of the courtroom and expressed his obvious displeasure. “As you know my son is graduating from High School, and looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation for a son who’s worked very, very hard,” Trump said, adding that he was “looking forward for years to having graduation with his mother and father there,” adding that the trial is a “scam” and a “political witch hunt.”

Judge Juan Merchan also won’t allow Trump to attend a Supreme Court hearing in DC regarding immunity. “We got a real problem with this Judge,” Trump continued, adding “that I can’t go to my son’s graduation, or that I can’t go to the United States Supreme Court, that I’m not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina campaigning like I should be… it’s perfect for the radical left Democrats – that’s exactly what they want,” he continued, adding that it’s “election interference.”

Vivek

[..] The case stems from a $130,000 payment made by Trump’s former lawyer, convicted felon and admitted liar Michael Cohen, to adult film actress Stormy Daniels at the end of the 2016 election in an alleged scheme to buy her silence. Trump is required to be present for the trial, which will take place four days a week and could last up to two months. Judge Juan Merchan kicked off the day by refusing a request by Trump’s legal team to recuse himself from the case over an interview he gave to the press in which he mentioned the case, which Merchan said was within the law – while Merchan’s wife and daughter have worked for prominent Democrats and/or made anti-Trump statements.

Prosecutors sought to include evidence from the Access Hollywood ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ tape, as well as various sexual assault allegations from Trump accusers. Merchan allowed a transcript of the tape, and denied a request to present the other allegations in court. Next, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked Trump’s attorneys to explain how the former president shouldn’t be held in contempt for allegedly violating Merchan’s gag order – arguing that Trump’s efforts have continued to this day, and that witnesses in the case “have incurred the wrath of Trump supporters.” And now, jury selection begins… with Merchan telling the court that 500 prospective jurors are waiting.

Merchan

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Good write-up from Turley. But it’s an indictment of the entire US legal system, not just New York.. Bragg and Merchan keep Trump from campaigning in 49 other states as well.

Trump Trial in Manhattan is an Indictment of the New York Legal System (Turley)

After an absurd $450 million decision courtesy of Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will bring his equally controversial criminal prosecution over hush money paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Lawyers have been scouring the civil and criminal codes for any basis to sue or prosecute Trump before the upcoming 2024 election. This week will highlight the damage done to New York’s legal system because of this unhinged crusade. They’ve charged him with everything short of ripping a label off a mattress. Just a few weeks ago, another judge imposed a roughly half billion dollar penalty in a case without a single victim who lost a single cent on loans with Trump. (Indeed, bank officials testified they wanted more business with the Trump organization). Now Bragg is bringing a case that has taken years to develop and millions of dollars in litigation costs for all parties. That is all over a crime from before the 2016 election that is a misdemeanor under state law that had already expired under the statute of limitations.

Like his predecessor, Bragg previously scoffed at the case. However, two prosecutors, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, then resigned and started a public pressure campaign to get New Yorkers to demand prosecution. Pomerantz shocked many of us by publishing a book on the case against Trump — who was still under investigation and not charged, let alone convicted, of any crime. He did so despite objections from his former colleague that such a book was grossly improper. Nevertheless, it worked. Bragg brought a Rube Goldberg case that is so convoluted and counterintuitive that even liberal legal analysts criticized it. Trump paid Daniels to avoid any publicity over their brief alleged affair. As a celebrity, there was ample reason to want to keep the affair quiet, and that does not even include the fact that he is a married man. It also occurred before the 2016 election and there was clearly a benefit to quash the scandal as a candidate. That political motivation is at the heart of this long-delayed case.

It is a repeat of the case involving former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. In 2012, the Justice Department used the same theory to charge the former Democratic presidential candidate after a disclosure that he not only had an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter but also hid the fact that he had a child by her. Edwards denied the affair, and money from donors was passed to Hunter to keep the matter quiet. The Justice Department spent a huge amount on the case to show that the third-party payments were a circumvention of campaign finance laws. However, Edwards was ultimately found not guilty on one count while the jury deadlocked on the other five. With Trump, the Justice Department declined a repeat of the Edwards debacle and did not bring any federal charge.

But Bragg then used the alleged federal crime to bootstrap a defunct misdemeanor charge into a felony in the current case. He is arguing that Trump intentionally lied when his former lawyer Michael Cohen listed the payments as retainer costs rather than a payment — to avoid reporting it as a campaign contribution to himself. Thus, if he had simply had Cohen report the payment as “hush money,” there would be no crime. Once again, the contrast to other controversies is telling. Before the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign denied that it had funded the infamous Steele dossier behind the debunked Russian collusion claims. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The FEC later sanctioned the campaign over its hiding of the funding.). When a reporter tried to report the story, he said Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

Likewise, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was called before congressional investigators and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Yet, there were no charges stemming from the hiding of the funding, though it was all part of the campaign budget. Making this assorted business even more repellent will be the appearance of Cohen himself on the stand. Cohen recently was denounced by a judge as a serial perjurer who is continuing to game the system. Cohen has a long record as a legal thug who has repeatedly lied when it served his interests. He has a knack for selling his curious skill set to powerful figures like Trump and now Bragg.

For those of us who have been critics of Cohen from when he was still working for Trump, it is mystifying that anyone would call him to the stand to attest to anything short of the time of day . . . and even then most of us would check our watches. Fortunately witnesses are no longer required to put their hand on the bible in swearing to testify truthfully in court. Otherwise, the court would need the New York Fire Department standing by in case the book burst into flames. So this is the case: A serial perjurer used to convert a dead state misdemeanor into a felony based on an alleged federal election crime that was rejected by the Justice Department. They could well succeed in a city where nine out of ten potential jurors despise Trump. Trying Trump in Manhattan is about as difficult as the New York Yankees going to bat using beach balls rather than baseballs. It is hard to miss.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1779874197918863646

Turley

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“The trial will keep Trump at the Manhattan courtroom every day of the proceedings for the next six weeks or more, effectively taking him off the campaign..”

Jury Selection Begins In Trump Hush-money Trial (RT)

Jury selection has begun for a trial at which former US President Donald Trump stands accused of falsifying records related to hush-money payments to a porn star during the 2016 election. Trump becomes the first former president to stand trial on criminal charges. Twelve jurors, along with six alternates, will be chosen from among hundreds of New Yorkers. The judge in the case has released the extensive questionnaire that potential jurors will have to fill out. “Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Trump told reporters outside the courtroom, calling the trial “political persecution” and “an assault on America.” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, charged Trump last year with 34 counts of “falsifying business records,” alleging that the Republican politician sought “to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”

The case is based on claims by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, that he paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, so she would keep quiet about an alleged affair with him. Trump has denied any relationship with Daniels. In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of campaign-finance violations, tax and bank fraud, and spent two and a half years in a federal prison. He also lost his New York bar license. Judge Juan Merchan has granted Bragg’s request for a gag order, meaning that Trump can’t criticize the prosecutor or his staff. The trial will keep Trump at the Manhattan courtroom every day of the proceedings for the next six weeks or more, effectively taking him off the campaign. Trump was the 45th president of the US (2017-2021) and is currently the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in November.

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Trump gives Johnson some loving.

Johnson, Trump Announce Election Integrity Bill (ET)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and former President Donald Trump are urging support for a bill aimed at preventing non-citizens from voting in federal elections. At a Friday, April 12, press conference at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, the Republican leaders announced the bill as part of larger efforts to bolster election integrity. “What we’re going to do is introduce legislation to require that every single person who registers to vote in a federal election must prove that they are an American citizen first,” Mr. Johnson said. Though some jurisdictions allow noncitizens to participate in local elections, it is illegal for them to vote in all state and federal elections. However, the United States’ federal voter registration form does not require documentary proof of citizenship, and states’ efforts to impose such a requirement have been challenged by the Biden administration.

The new legislation, the speaker said, would establish new safeguards to ensure only citizens can vote. The provisions would require states to remove noncitizens from their voter rolls and would provide them with access to Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases to help them do so. “Congress has this responsibility. We cannot wait for widespread fraud to occur … especially when the threat of fraud is growing with every single illegal immigrant that crosses that border,” the speaker said. He added that he expected the bill to receive widespread Republican support while also forcing Democrats to go on record with where they stand. The push to secure elections from illegal votes comes amid the flood of illegal immigrants pouring across the southern border.

Illegal immigration, though a persistent problem for decades, has exploded to unprecedented levels under the Biden administration. The deluge has included individuals on the United States’ terror watch list and others with prior convictions for violent crimes. Republicans have repeatedly said that President Joe Biden has the power to end the crisis but simply chooses not to. President Trump repeated that claim Friday, asserting that the president could and should “close the border immediately.”

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Will the loving remain?

US House Speaker To Put Ukraine Aid Bill To A Vote (RT)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has promised to finally advance the long-stalled Ukraine aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, multiple news outlets reported on Monday. The proposed legislation has been stuck in Congress for months due to the bitter in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans. According to reports, Johnson told Republican colleagues at a closed-door meeting that he intends to allow the House to vote on a standalone bill this week that would ensure additional military aid to Kiev. The House will also be expected to vote on separate bills providing more aid to Israel and Taiwan. “We know that the world is watching us to see how we react,” Johnson told reporters after a meeting with GOP legislators, as quoted by the New York Times. He added that the leaders of Russia, China and Iran are “watching to see if America will stand up for its allies and our interests around the globe – and we will.”

House Republicans have previously refused to back the omnibus foreign aid bill unveiled by Biden in October, which includes $61 billion worth of assistance to Ukraine. The legislation stalled for months because the GOP was trying to force the White House to crack down on the influx of illegal migrants across the border with Mexico. The Republicans were encouraged by Biden’s reelection rival, former president Donald Trump, who argued against unchecked aid to Ukraine. The delay in approving more weapons for Ukraine rattled President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials in Kiev, who are blaming mounting battlefield losses on the increasing shortages of foreign-supplied ammunition and air defenses. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” Zelensky warned last week. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that no amount of foreign help will change the course of the conflict, and accused the West of escalation.

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“This was a highly choreographed show. Multiple early warning signs gifted Tel Aviv with plenty of time to profit from US intel and evacuate fighter jets and personnel..”

How Iran’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Switched To Serious Deterrence (Pepe Escobar)

A little over 48 hours before Iran’s aerial message to Israel across the skies of West Asia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed, on the record, what so far had been, at best, hush-hush diplomatic talk: The Russian side keeps in contact with Iranian partners on the situation in the Middle East after the Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria. Ryabkov added, “We stay in constant touch [with Iran]. New in-depth discussions on the whole range of issues related to the Middle East are also expected in the near future in BRICS.” He then sketched The Big Picture: “Connivance with Israeli actions in the Middle East, which are at the core of Washington’s policy, is in many ways becoming the root cause of new tragedies.” Here, concisely, we had Russia’s top diplomatic coordinator with BRICS – in the year of the multipolar organization’s Russian presidency – indirectly messaging that Russia has Iran’s back.

Iran, it should be noted, just became a full-fledged BRICS+ member in January. Iran’s aerial message this weekend confirmed this in practice: their missile guidance systems used the Chinese Beidou satellite navigation system as well as the Russian GLONASS system. This is Russia–China intel leading from behind and a graphic example of BRICS+ on the move. Ryabkov’s “we stay in constant touch” plus the satellite navigation intel confirms the deeply interlocked cooperation between the Russia–China strategic partnership and their mutual strategic partner Iran. Based on vast experience in Ukraine, Moscow knew that the biblical psychopathic genocidal entity would keep escalating if Iran only continued to exercise “strategic patience.”

The morphing of “strategic patience” into a new strategic balance had to take some time – including high-level exchanges with the Russian side. After all, the risk remained that the Israeli attack against the Iranian consulate/ambassador’s residence in Damascus could well prove to be the 2024 remix of the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Tehran did manage to upend the massive Western psychological operations aimed at pushing it into a strategic misstep. Iran started with a misdirecting masterstroke. As US–Israeli fear porn went off the charts, fueled by dodgy western “intel,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) made a quick sideways move, seizing an Israeli-owned container ship near the Strait of Hormuz.

That was an eminently elegant manoeuvre – reminding the collective west of Tehran’s hold on the Strait of Hormuz, a fact immeasurably more dangerous to the whole western economic house of cards than any limited strike on their “aircraft carrier” in West Asia. That did happen anyway. And once again, with a degree of elegance. Unlike that ‘moral’ army specialized in killing women, children, and the elderly and bombing hospitals, mosques, schools, universities, and humanitarian convoys, the Iranian attack targeted key Israeli military sites such as the Nevatim and Ramon airbases in the Negev and an intel center in the occupied Golan Heights – the three centers used by Tel Aviv in its strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate. This was a highly choreographed show. Multiple early warning signs gifted Tel Aviv with plenty of time to profit from US intel and evacuate fighter jets and personnel, which was duly followed by a plethora of US military radars coordinating the defense strategy.

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“Ultimately, there is no alternative to the full implementation of the two-state solution, the only way to end the vicious circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all..”

Iranian Strikes On Israel Represent ‘Spillover’ Of Gaza Conflict – China (RT)

Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel constitute an “adverse spillover” of the Gaza conflict, China’s ambassador to the United Nations has said, warning that it could spread further and make the entire Middle East even more unstable. Dai Bing made the remarks after Tehran launched a series of airstrikes on Israel over the weekend in retaliation for the bombing of an Iranian consular compound in Syria, which killed seven military personnel, including two generals. Israel has not commented on the incident since Iran accused it of conducting an extraterritorial assassination. Speaking at a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday, Dai condemned Israel’s “vicious attack,” which he described as a “grave violation of the UN Charter and international law, and a breach of the sovereignty of both Syria and Iran.”

The war in Gaza “bears on the peace, stability and long-term security in the [Middle East] region,” he added, and called for an immediate end to the hostilities. Dai warned that if “the flames of the Gaza conflict are allowed to continue raging, the adverse spillover is set to spread still further” across the entire region. The Chinese envoy also called for “maximum calm and restraint” from Israel and Iran to prevent further escalations. “Ultimately, there is no alternative to the full implementation of the two-state solution, the only way to end the vicious circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all,” Dai said.

China has called on the international community, particularly countries with influence, to play a “constructive role for the peace and stability of the region,” the ambassador added. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also warned at Sunday’s emergency meeting that the entire Middle East is on the brink of a full-scale war in the wake of Iran’s strike on Israel. Meanwhile, Russia’s ambassador to the global body, Vassily Nebenzia, told members of the UN Security Council that the retaliatory strike “did not happen in a vacuum.” He claimed that the West had helped give rise to Iran’s attack by failing to take action over the illegal bombing of Tehran’s consulate in Damascus that provoked the latest violence in the region.

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On Saturday, I said: “And you bet they gave advance notice”. Here is more: “..announcing it fired the drones hours before they reached Israeli territory, and Tehran said it gave other regional countries a 72-hour notice..”

Biden Tells Netanyahu US Won’t Support Attack on Iran (Antiwar)

President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US wouldn’t join Israel in any offensive action against Iran, multiple media outlets have reported. US officials are touting Israel’s defense of Iran’s attack as a victory, and that’s the message Biden conveyed to Netanyahu, a sign the US doesn’t want the situation to escalate. Iran fired over 300 missiles and drones at Israel, which was a response to Israel’s bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus on April 1. “Israel really came out far ahead in this exchange. It took out the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp] leadership in the Levant, Iran tried to respond, and Israel clearly demonstrated its military superiority, defeating this attack, particularly in coordination with its partners,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters, according to The Times of Israel.

In a statement on the attack released by the White House, Biden said he would convene with other G7 leaders to “coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.” Israeli officials claimed 99% of the Iranian missiles and drones were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems and with assistance from the US, Britain, and Jordan. Some missiles got through and damaged the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel. Only one person was injured in the attack, a seven-year-old Bedouin girl in the Negev, and nobody was killed. Iran gave Israel plenty of time to respond to the attack by announcing it fired the drones hours before they reached Israeli territory, and Tehran said it gave other regional countries a 72-hour notice. Iranian officials said the attack was “limited” and made clear they do not seek an escalation with Israel.

But Tehran is also warning it will launch an even bigger attack if Israel responds. “If the Zionist regime or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in a statement on Sunday. While the US is signaling it seeks de-escalation and won’t support a potential Israeli attack on Iran, it’s unclear what Israel will do next. The Israeli war cabinet convened to discuss the situation on Sunday, and Israeli media reports said they agreed a response would come but didn’t decide on where or when. Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz vowed Israel would respond but signaled it wouldn’t be imminent. Gantz said the “event is not over” and that Israel should “build a regional coalition and exact a price from Iran, in a way and at a time that suits us.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Biden also told Netanyahu “that the United States is going to continue to help Israel defend itself,” signaling the US would intervene again to help Israel if it does choose to escalate the situation and comes under another attack. Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria killed 13 people, including seven members of the IRGC. Israel has a history of conducting covert attacks inside Iran and killing Iranians in Syria, but the bombing of the diplomatic facility marked a huge escalation.

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Toothless.

US Mulling New Sanctions Against Iran Over Attack on Israel – Scalise (Sp.)

Members of the US Congress plan to consider a number of draft laws on new sanctions against Iran after the latter’s attack on Israel, US House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said, adding that the first bill could be submitted to the House of Representatives as early as Monday night. “It’s a growing sentiment in the Congress that we need to increase sanctions. So we’re going to be bringing a number of bills to ratchet those up and raise the stakes against Iran for their actions,” Scalise told The Jerusalem Post newspaper on Sunday. The US Congress will also consider a number of bills that are related to the country’s alleged use of oil sales income to fund Palestinian movement Hamas, the lawmaker was cited as saying by the newspaper. The first bill could be submitted to the House on Monday evening, Scalise said.

On Saturday night, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. The attack came in response to Israel’s airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1. Iranian state media reported that Iran had fired at least seven hypersonic missiles at Israel, with none of them intercepted. Meanwhile, CNN reported, citing US officials, that the US military had intercepted more than 79 drones and at least three hypersonic missiles during the attack. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel had intercepted 99% of the aerial targets fired by Iran, including all drones.

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“I was in Washington last week in a meeting with top administration officials. They are appalled by this government: The irresponsibility, the lack of professionalism, the failed management, the ingratitude..”

Netanyahu a Threat for Israel, Opposition Leader Says (TASS)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet pose a threat to their own country, Yair Lapid, leader of the Israeli opposition, said, calling to hold new elections. Speaking before reporters after his trip to Washington, the politician said that the US Administration is “appalled” by the behavior of the Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, according to The Jerusalem Post. “This government, this prime minister, has become an existential threat against Israel,” Lapid said. “They destroyed Israeli deterrence. Our enemies look at this government, smell weakness, and raise their heads.” According to Lapid, Israeli allies “smell this weakness,” too.

“I was in Washington last week in a meeting with top administration officials. They are appalled by this government: The irresponsibility, the lack of professionalism, the failed management, the ingratitude,” he claimed. He pointed out that Netanyahu previously called himself “Mr. Security,” promising to guarantee order in Israel. Instead, the current authorities have brought the country to the opposite: a “wasteland from Kiryat Shmona [a city on the Lebanese border – TASS] to Beeri [a settlement on the Gaza Strip border], violence by Jewish settlers [in the West Bank – TASS] that is out of hand, and a complete loss of Israeli deterrence.” “Our problem is Iran, but our problem is also here. […] It is time for an election now,” Lapid believes.

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“You don’t matter to us. You’re not Israel. You don’t own us. We’re not going to fight and die for you. I hope I made that clear..”

Ukraine ‘Owned’ by US, US ‘Owned’ by Israel – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

President Zelensky took to X on Sunday to plead with US lawmakers not to forget about Ukraine, saying “it is critical that the United States Congress make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies in this critical time” by delivering on the aid package promised by President Biden six months ago. Zelensky’s comments were echoed by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who told reporters on Monday that Ukraine also needs help from its Western partners, even if it’s not in the form of direct military help – like Israel got. “All we ask our partners is, even if you cannot act the way you act in Israel, give us what is needed, and we will do the rest ourselves,” Kuleba urged. “Let me make this very clear to the Ukrainian crowd. You see, the difference between Israel and Ukraine is that, whether you like it or not, Israel has bought and paid for the United States’ support,” while Ukraine hasn’t, Scott Ritter told Sputnik.

“Israel, through its political action committee, AIPAC, in the United States, has pretty much bought the United States Congress. They’ve bought the United States presidency. They control American media. And as a result, America comes to the defense of Israel because we’ve been paid to do so,” Ritter said. With Ukraine, it’s the other way around, the observer said. “America, on the other hand, has bought and paid for Ukraine.You’re not a friend. You’re not an ally. You’re a tool being used by the United States for its larger foreign policy and national security objectives vis-à-vis Russia. We provide you weapons only so far as it facilitates our objective of creating a problem for Russia. We don’t want you to win. We don’t care about you. We give you just enough to keep you going. And then we stand by and watch you bury your dead. Because we don’t care,” Ritter said, channeling the sentiments of the American establishment.

“You’ve done your ‘duty’. You created a problem for the Russians. But now you’ve become inconvenient. And we’re going to stand by and let the Russians finish the job without spending any more money or providing you with much more assistance. You don’t matter to us. You’re not Israel. You don’t own us. We’re not going to fight and die for you. I hope I made that clear,” Ritter summed up.

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“This is an ultimatum without alternatives for either Moscow or Kiev. In electric war, are there any alternatives?”

De-electrification And Unconditional Surrender Of The Kiev Regime (Helmer)

It was a relatively bright day, November 21, 1920, when Vladimir Lenin, having won the civil war and driven off the American, British, French, Canadian, and Australian invasion forces, announced: “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country, since industry cannot be developed without electrification.” Come November 2024 it will be a century and four years to count what Lenin meant, and how Russia is proving itself against everything which the military industries, special forces, weapons, intelligence so-called, operations, and plans of the old invasion coalition, plus Germany, can throw at it. So on November 21, 2024, it will be time to revise Lenin’s maxim to read: Russia is military power plus the de-electrification of the countries which attack it. This is electric war.

To make the war aim unambiguously clear, President Vladimir Putin ordered his ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Vasily Nebenzya, to read out a paper at his desk in the UN Security Council chamber on April 11: “very soon, the only topic for international meetings in Ukraine will be the unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime.” Note what the terms “unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime” mean: total military defeat of the Ukrainian, American, British, French, Polish, and other forces on the Ukrainian territory and in the air surrounding; surrender of the municipal administrations of the east-bank cities, including Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk, and Odessa; disarmament and demilitarization of the territory between Kiev and the Polish border; exit of every member of the regime, starting with Vladimir Zelensky. This is an ultimatum without alternatives for either Moscow or Kiev. In electric war, are there any alternatives?

Nebenzya was making his announcement on the evening of Thursday, April 11, Kiev time. In the time it took for his text to be drafted, edited by the Foreign Ministry, authorized at the Kremlin, and Nebenzya given the go-ahead, it had been only a few hours after the lights of Kiev went out when the Tripolskaya power station was destroyed by a new Russian missile, the X-69.

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“..parents will be allowed to make a request to change the gender of a child as young as five, with the consent of the child present..”

Germans Can Now Change Gender Every Year (RT)

German citizens will be able to change their sex on legal documents without undergoing surgery or hormone therapy, under a new bill passed by the Bundestag last Friday. It stipulates that an oral request is sufficient, eliminating the need for expert assessment, which was previously mandatory. The law comes into effect in November. The legislation on ‘self-determination’ in gender was backed by 374 MPs, mostly from the ruling ‘traffic-light’ coalition, with another 251 lawmakers against and the remaining 11 abstaining. The current regulations date back to 1981, and state that individuals wishing to change their gender must first undergo two psychological evaluations. The final decision under that law rests with a district court. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition argued that the existing procedures were degrading toward transgender individuals, as they had to share intimate details with officials.

Under the new law, parents will be allowed to make a request to change the gender of a child as young as five, with the consent of the child present. Minors over 14 will be able to change their first name and gender alone, as long as they have the consent of their parents or legal representatives. Individuals will be allowed to make a change once per year. Germans will also have the right to replace the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ in the family register with the neutral term ‘parent.’ Non-binary individuals can register as ‘diverse’ instead of having to choose between ‘male’ and ‘female.’ Under the recently passed legislation, anyone who attempts to expose an individual’s past gender identity can be fined up to €10,000 ($10,630). The law leaves it up to saunas, swimming pools, gyms, and other sports facilities to decide whether to allow biological males into women’s changing rooms and toilets.

When it comes to competitive sports, individual associations may decide if biological males identifying as women can compete against females. The bill faced heated debate in the Bundestag on Friday, with the government’s commissioner for LGBTQ+ issues, Sven Lehmann, hailing it as historic and ending “human rights abuse.” However, opposition parties were largely unconvinced, with a lawmaker from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Mareike Wulf, describing the legislation as “irresponsible” and “socially explosive.” Wulf also argued that criminals could use the new regulations to obscure their identity. Sahra Wagenknecht, a former leader of the Left Party who now leads her own party, warned that with males now allowed to proclaim themselves female, “women’s protection rights and women’s protection shelters [are] a thing of the past.” A representative of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party said the bill poses a threat to young people, denouncing it as “trans-hype.”

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“..and call for solidarity with the Palestinians, and so on, right here in the middle of Berlin, the epicenter of European democracy, as if they thought they had a right to do that..”

The Palestine Congress (CJ Hopkins)

Thank God for the German Hate Police! Or heil … or whatever the appropriate salutation is for these unsung heroes. They just saved us all from “hate” again! Yes, that’s right, once again, democracy-loving people here in New Normal Berlin and all across the New Normal world were right on the brink of being exposed to “hate,” and would have been exposed to “hate,” had the Hate Police not sprang into action. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. OK, what happened was, some pro-Palestinian activists organized a “Palestine Congress,” and attempted to discuss the situation in Gaza, and call for solidarity with the Palestinians, and so on, right here in the middle of Berlin, the epicenter of European democracy, as if they thought they had a right to do that. The German authorities were clearly intent on disabusing them of that notion.

Early Friday morning, hundreds of black-clad Hate Police descended on the congress location. Reinforcements were called in from throughout the nation. Metal barricades were erected on the sidewalks. Hate Police stood guard at the entrance. The German media warned the public that a potential “Hate-Speech” attack was now imminent. Berliners were advised to shelter in place, switch off their phones and any other audio-receptive communication devices, and wad up little pieces of toilet paper and ram them deep into their ear canals to prevent any possible exposure to the “hate.” Sure enough, minutes into the congress, the anticipated “Hate-Speech” attack was launched! A Palestinian activist — Salman Abu Sitta — who had written an article that allegedly “expressed understanding of Hamas,” and thus had already been placed on the official German “No-Speak” list, started speaking to the congress on Zoom or whatever.

Or … it isn’t quite clear whether he actually started speaking. According to a Hate Police spokesperson, they raided the congress because “there [was] a risk of a speaker being put on the screen who in the past made anti-Semitic and violence-glorifying remarks.” Anyway, the Hate Police stormed the venue, pulled the plug, dispersed the crowd, and banned the rest of the “Palestine Congress,” which was scheduled to continue on Saturday and Sunday. Then they arrested a Jewish guy who was wearing a Palestinian-flag-kippah, presumably out of an abundance of caution. But the “Hate-Speech” attack wasn’t over yet. It was one of those multi-pronged “Hate-Speech” attacks, or at least it involved one other prong. Earlier that morning, or perhaps while the Hate Police were still neutralizing the threat at the venue, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta, a prominent British surgeon, who had volunteered in Gaza and was due to speak at the congress, was intercepted by the Berlin Airport Hate Police, refused entry into Germany, and forced to return to the UK.

The Airport Hate Police informed the doctor that he was being denied entry in order to ensure “the safety of the people at the conference and public order,” Abu Sitta told the Associated Press. Kai Wegner, Berlin’s mayor, presumably feeling a bit nostalgic for the fanatical days of 2020 to 2023 when one could persecute “the Unvaccinated” with total impunity, took to X to celebrate the Hate Police’s thwarting of this “Hate event.” The pro-Palestinian activist community also took to X and expressed their displeasure. Yanis “Vaccinate Humanity” Varoufakis, who was one of the organizers and was scheduled to speak, was particularly incensed over the new German “fascism,” which apparently he has just now noticed, despite the fact that it has been goose-stepping around in a medical-looking mask for the last four years.

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Not as bad as it looks.

• They grew (too?) fast: “Tesla has around 140,000 employees, nearly double the 2020 level.”

• China’s BYD Co. delivered just 300,114 battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter, down 43% from the final three months of last year.

• Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have delayed, dialed back or altogether scrapped EV projects.

Two Senior Tesla Executives Leave Amid 14,000 Global Layoffs (ZH)

The Wall Street Journal reports Tesla plans to reduce 10% of its global workforce, approximately 14,000 employees, confirming an earlier report by the EV blog Electrek. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk sent a letter to employees detailing how the company needed to reduce costs and increase productivity. WSJ obtained a copy of the email. “As part of the effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally,” Musk wrote in the letter, adding, “There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative, and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.” Separately, Bloomberg journalists on X reported that Tesla Senior Vice President Drew Baglino and Tesla Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development Rohan Patel are leaving the company. And… Bloomberg noted, “The departure of Baglino is likely to reinforce concerns among some investors about succession planning at Tesla, where Musk has been CEO since 2008.” We suspect Musk will be commenting on these reports sometime today.

* * *

Shares of Tesla Motors are muted in the early premarket trading hours in New York after a report from the EV blog Electrek cited an “internal company-wide email” detailing layoffs at the EV company amounting to more than 10% of its global workforce. Electrek alleges that Elon Musk sent an email to staff explaining a “duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas” as the main reason for the layoffs, which could affect as many as 14,000 employees. Here’s the full text of the email (courtesy of Electrek):

“Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity. As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle. I would like to thank everyone who is departing Tesla for their hard work over the years. I’m deeply grateful for your many contributions to our mission and we wish you well in your future opportunities. It is very difficult to say goodbye. For those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for the difficult job that remains ahead. We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence. As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there. Thanks, Elon”

The latest data from Bloomberg shows that Tesla has around 140,000 employees, nearly double the 2020 level. Electrek noted, “We don’t know which specific teams will be most or least affected by Tesla’s layoffs.” The alleged layoffs come after the company recorded its first quarterly decline in four years and delivered 386,810 vehicles in the first quarter, far below the Bloomberg consensus of 449,000. Slowing EV demand has weighed on Tesla shares this year, down 31%, and one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 Index. As Bloomberg notes, the EV slowdown has hit other automakers: The EV slowdown Tesla has felt of late has been widespread. China’s BYD Co. delivered just 300,114 battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter, down 43% from the final three months of last year, when it briefly pulled ahead as the world’s top EV seller. Manufacturers including Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have delayed, dialed back or altogether scrapped EV projects as consumers balk at still-high prices and a dearth of charging stations.

On Tesla’s most recent earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja said, “We just have to chase down every penny possible.” Tesla will report next Tuesday, April 23. Wall Street analysts expect the company to turn a profit of about 50 cents a share, down from around 85 cents a share in the first quarter of 2023. If Electrek’s report is correct, Elon appears to be tightening Tesla’s belt, suggesting broader troubles are ahead for the US economy.

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“Airbus and Boeing continue to have a long backlog of orders (8,598 at the end of 2023 for Airbus; 5,591 at the end of March for Boeing)..”

Airbus Beats Boeing For Deliveries In 2024 (ZH)

Boeing’s deliveries of commercial aircraft have faltered in the first three months of the year, according to the company’s reports, published this week. The U.S. aircraft manufacturer delivered just 83 planes in Q3, down from 130 in the same three-month period of last year. In the meantime, its sole major competitor, Europe’s Airbus, saw an uptick in Q1, having delivered 142 of their planes, marking an increase from their Q1 2023 figure of 127. Boeing has been mired in a series of safety issues since the start of the year, following a mid-air panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 jet in January. This has led to a slowdown in production for the U.S. company, which is now limited to producing 38 of the 737 planes per month until it is clear that quality and safety procedures are being properly adhered to, as per the advisory of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Boeing has slowed production even below this limit, with the company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian West stating that once the company has it “right” it will ramp up production, expecting to see figures improve in the latter half of the year. Prior to 2019, Boeing had been in the lead for deliveries out of the two companies, but this changed following the two deadly 737 MAX 8 crashes of 2018 and 2019, and the ensuing temporary production halt of the model. While the same family, these were different planes than those involved in the more recent incidents and they were caused by different issues. As Statista’s Anna Fleck shows in the following chart, both companies saw dips in deliveries in 2020 with the Covid pandemic.

Boeing and Airbus are the world’s two major competitors when it comes to commercial plane manufacturing. While other manufacturers exist, they produce far lower numbers of aircraft than either of these two giants. In a report by CNN, writer Allison Morrow explains that since pilots are trained in either Boeing or Airbus operating systems, it is difficult for airlines to switch planes. With few companies having the capacity to produce large jets, both Airbus and Boeing continue to have a long backlog of orders (8,598 at the end of 2023 for Airbus; 5,591 at the end of March for Boeing).

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Wonder what Trump thinks of this.

Trump Biopic To Compete At Cannes Film Festival (RT)

A biopic about the formative years of former US President Donald Trump will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month. Directed by acclaimed Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, ‘The Apprentice’ tells the story of how young Trump got started in the real estate business in New York in the 1970s and 1980s and met his mentor Roy Cohn. The film is among the 18 entries competing for Palme d’Or, the festival’s main award. “The Apprentice is a dive into the underbelly of the American empire. It charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn,” according to the film’s official description.

Sebastian Stan – the star of Marvel superhero movies and the 2022 mini-series ‘Pam & Tommy’ – plays Trump, while Emmy-winning ‘Succession’ actor Jeremy Strong portrays Roy Cohn, a high-profile lawyer. “His playbook has a tentacular reach that is staggering – the most fascinating person I’ve ever tried to inhabit,” Strong told the New York Times. “So while I personally might have a lot of judgment about Roy Cohn, that is not the part of me that engages in creative work.” Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova plays Ivana Zelnickova, Trump’s first wife and the mother of his daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric.

The film is set to depict Trump’s early business ventures and rise after he joined and subsequently took over his father’s real-estate empire. Under his leadership, the company branched out from residential housing to casinos and hotels, including the famous Trump Tower in Manhattan and other Trump-branded properties. Trump shocked the world by beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 and becoming the 45th president of the United States. He left office after losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden. He is currently the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election.

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Kid judge

 

 


From Elon

 

 

Russell

 

 

UFO

 

 

Shop dog

 

 

Koala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779619528743211352

 

 

Sun fish

 

 

Wooden post

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 102024
 
 April 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)
Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)
Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)
No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)
Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)
‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)
Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)
Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)
‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)
China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)
‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)
Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)
Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)
Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)
Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Trump

 

 

Colbert AOC

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777710201937732085

 

 

CIA contractor

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777519791168696416

 

 

 

 

“The same company that hired Hunter Biden and paid Joe Biden to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating them.”

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)

Criminal probes into the financing of terrorist activities in Russia and abroad have been launched against several private companies, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday. The list of suspects includes the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma Holdings, linked to a corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family that has been dragging on for years. The criminal investigation stems from a complaint filed by a group of Russian MPs and public figures in the aftermath of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow last month. The original complaint identified the US and its allies as allegedly organizing a string of attacks on Russian soil. So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added. The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated. Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay.

Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma. Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January. “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.” Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

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It’s ideally situated for the purpose.

Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)

The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday said it launched a criminal probe into the financing of terrorism, naming the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma among the suspects. RT spoke about the unfolding scandal to Arnaud Develay, an international human rights advocate and the author of a book covering ties between the Ukrainian company and the family of US President Joe Biden. “This is something that the Russian Investigative Committee is going to have to determine to be sure, but this is nothing new,” Develay stated, describing the Ukrainian company as a “vehicle to launder taxpayers’ money.” The investigators have already “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia” and beyond.

Should the allegation prove to be true, the West will try its best to swipe the whole affair under the rug, as well as to derail any attempts to bring it before international bodies, Develay believes. “They would try to fight tooth and nail to basically deny it,” he said, adding that an attempt to establish a UN-backed tribunal to handle the affair is bound to get vetoed by the “Big Three” – the US, the UK and France. “This is something that is going to have to be handled a different way,” he warned. Develay’s work, titled ‘Foreign Entanglements: Ukraine, Biden & the Fractured American Political Consensus’ is set for public release on Wednesday.

Webb Burisma

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“..the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)

Elon Musk has warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 could take place in the US unless the crisis at the southern border and the uncontrolled influx of migrants is addressed. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to an X post by former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who called for mass deportations and the sealing of the US-Mexico border. “Even if only 0.1% of illegal aliens who’ve crossed our border have hostile intentions, that’s tens of thousands of would-be attackers,” Ramaswamy pointed out, suggesting that unless special attention is paid to the issue, “we’re paving the way for another 9/11-scale tragedy.” Musk replied, saying it is “only a matter of time” before such a disaster unfolds.

Previously, the billionaire argued that the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.” His claim followed reports that Venezuela’s homicide rate had dropped to its lowest in 22 years – with some suggesting this was due to Venezuelan gangs moving to the US. Meanwhile, a Politico report published last month suggested that US President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Musk responded to the news by accusing the US Democratic party of intentionally opening up the southern border in order to “import voters.”

There are currently thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since. In February, Musk claimed Biden’s plan to keep the Democrats in power was a “very simple” one, which involves getting “as many illegals in the country as possible,” then legalizing those people “to create a permanent majority.” The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to use a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine as leverage.

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“A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them..”

No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)

The owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, has rejected accusations that Russian misinformation was widespread on his platform. The entrepreneur, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, has been accused of making the social network vulnerable to Russian activities by changing its content moderation protocols after purchasing Twitter in 2022. His latest denial came on Tuesday, while he was discussing X on ‘In Good Company’, a podcast. Host Nicolai Tangen suggested that Russian activity via fake accounts was “huge” in Germany. “We don’t see a lot of Russian activity, to be frank, on the system. We see very little,” Musk responded. “We do see a lot of attempts to influence things, but they seem to be coming from the West, not from Russia.”

Tangen’s remark apparently referred to claims made by Berlin in January. The German government said that the use of specialized monitoring software had allowed it to identify an estimated 50,000 fake accounts engaged in a pro-Russian misinformation campaign on X. Local press claimed that the messaging was strikingly similar to that of the right-wing opposition party AfD. Germany is not alone in its wariness regarding Moscow’s influence; this week US Congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, accused some fellow Republicans of repeating ‘Russian propaganda’ in the chamber.

“It is absolutely true we see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the Ohio congressman told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Similar remarks came last week from House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, another Republican lawmaker. In his interview, Musk hailed X as arguably “the best source of truth on the Internet” that, he argued, by far surpasses traditional news outlets in terms of accuracy thanks to user-driven fact-checking tools. “A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them,” he lamented.

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“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump..”

Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he will provide Starlink services free of charge for schools in Brazil if the government chooses to follow through and cancel a contract for the service in the country. Many schools in Brazil have reported using the company to provide internet access to their citizens. Starlink terminals connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit and provide high-speed communications. Brazil’s government has reportedly announced plans to suspend all contracts with Starlink. Prompting Mr. Musk to offer the service free of charge. “Starlink will provide free Internet for schools in Brazil if the government won’t honor their contract,” he said in an April 8 social media post. The moves come amid a growing stoush between social media company X, also owned by Mr. Musk, and the Brazilian government.

According to an April 6 post on the platform, the global affairs team announced they were being “forced by court decisions to block certain popular accounts in Brazil.” “We do not know the reasons these blocking orders have been issued. We do not know which posts are alleged to violate the law. We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or on what grounds,” the post said. The global affairs team claimed the company had been threatened with fines if they didn’t comply with the order. They also said they were unable to provide a list of which accounts were impacted. “We believe that such orders are not in accordance with the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Federal Constitution, and we challenge the orders legally where possible,” the post from the global affairs team said.

“The people of Brazil, regardless of their political beliefs, are entitled to freedom of speech, due process, and transparency from their own authorities.” The announcement came after a report by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” Mr. Shellenberger said that sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censorship. He has shared his findings on X. Mr. Musk announced soon after he had removed all content restrictions in Brazil in defiance of the order.

[..] Mr. Musk has made serious allegations of corruption against Justice de Moraes and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a follow-up April 8 post, Mr. Musk claims that events have since escalated and all Twitter Brazil employees are in danger of arrest. Once safe, he will release the information proving his allegations. “We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” he said. “They have been told they will be arrested. Save the Brazilian X employees.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777796067225989299

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“A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes..”

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)

ZURICH—“Technological change, while it helps humanity meet the challenges nature imposes upon us, leads to a paradigm shift: It leaves us less capable, not more, of using our intellectual capacities. It diminishes our minds in the long run. We strive to improve ourselves while risking a regression to the Stone Age if our ever more complex, ever more fragile technological infrastructure collapses.” That is Hans Köchler, an eminent Viennese scholar and president of the International Progress Organization, a globally active think tank, addressing an audience here last Thursday evening, April 4. The date is significant: The day before Köchler spoke, +972 Magazine and Local Call, independent publications in Israel–Palestine, reported that as the Israel Defense Forces press their savage invasion of the Gaza Strip, they deploy an artificial intelligence program called Lavender that so far has marked some 37,000 Palestinians as kill targets.

In the early weeks of the Israeli siege, according to the Israeli sources +972 cites, “the army gave sweeping approval for officers to adopt Lavender’s kill lists, with no requirement to thoroughly check why the machine made those choices or to examine the raw intelligence data on which they were based.” Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.” Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity.

It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them. Let us look on in horror, and let us see our future in it. We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.

In the Lavender case, the data it produced were accepted and treated as if they had been generated by a human being without any actual human oversight or independent verification. A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes. The IDF intentionally targeted suspected militants while they were with their families, using unguided missiles or “dumb” bombs. This strategy had the advantage of enabling Israel to preserve its more expensive precision-guided weapons, or “smart” bombs. As one of +972’s sources told the magazine: “We were not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they were in a military building or engaged in a military activity… . On the contrary, the IDF bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations.”

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BUT: “.. if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible. Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet. “The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added. “Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.” Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding. The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.

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Everybody knows.

Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia’s national security and is fundamentally unacceptable, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said. The Russian envoy was responding to comments by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed at a press briefing on Monday that Kiev could become a member of the military bloc once the conflict with Moscow has ended. “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to us under any circumstances,” Antonov stated on Tuesday. “This is a threat to Russia’s national security.” “Only politicians ignorant of the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation can expect that we could accept Kiev’s entry into a bloc which is hostile to us,” he added. Antonov further accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s core interests and refusing to accept Russia’s “categorical opposition” to Kiev’s potential NATO membership.

Speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Ukraine will be allowed to join the bloc, claiming that the commitment of its members to Kiev remains “rock solid.” The purpose of NATO’s next summit in July will be to “help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward,” Blinken added. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for nearly two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security, and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” According to Antonov, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tensions over NATO expansion and Ukraine in 2021, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

Arestovich

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All this ‘pre-war’ talk is crazy irresponsible. Kick ’em by the curb.

‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)

A full-scale military conflict in Europe has become more likely due to the standoff with Russia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has claimed, while warning member states against relying on the US to defend them. Several other European officials have cited a heightened military threat in recent months, with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the world is moving from a “post-war to a pre-war” state due to the alleged threat emanating from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made a similar “pre-war” assessment in March. Speaking at a Forum Europa gathering in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell claimed that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy” and that the bloc must “do everything to avoid it”.

The EU’s top diplomat alleged that Russia poses a growing threat to the continent, citing the conflict with Ukraine, and accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize the union. According to Borrell, while a military conflict in Europe is not imminent and “not going to start tomorrow,” citizens should understand that the “US umbrella that has protected us during the Cold War and after, may not be open all the time.” “Maybe, depending on who is ruling Washington, we cannot rely on the Americans’ support and American capacity to protect us,” he said. Describing the EU as being surrounded by a “ring of fires” and instability, Borrell called on member states to become more self-sufficient with their security and to ramp up their defense spending.

He added that while NATO is as “irreplaceable” as ever, Europeans should start building their own “pillar” within the US-led bloc. The diplomat acknowledged that Brussels’ stance on the conflicts in Gaza and in Ukraine is not fully shared by many non-Western audiences. Borrel’s remarks follow suggestions from numerous Western civilian and military officials in recent months that Russia could attack NATO within a few years. Speaking in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such speculation as “nonsense.” He argued that talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic countries is propaganda coming from governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

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China’s been saying this for a while, but not many in the west seem to know it.

China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a strong message to the West that the two countries will continue their strategic relationship. The meeting came a day after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China and warned it against partnering with Russia. The meeting between Lavrov and Xi, particularly right after Yellen’s visit, is a “message” to the West that China “will have the back of Russia” if the conflict in Ukraine is escalated by the West, lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascarus told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “The timing of announcements such as these tell you a lot,” Lascarus said, pointing to not only Yellen’s visit but the increasingly provocative attacks on Russia by Ukraine’s intelligence services such as the mass shooting outside of Moscow which Russia has blamed Ukraine and its backers in the US and UK for, among other provocations.

“Of course, we have this ongoing drama with little Napoleon in France [French President] Emmanuel Macron, talking about sending a few thousand French troops to their deaths in Odessa,” Lascarus recalled. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it has been interpreted by both the Russian and Chinese governments as an attempt to provoke Russia into a direct attack on a NATO country.” “I think [China is] sending a message that China will have the back of Russia if this escalates. And, no one should have any illusions about that,” Lascarus explained. “They see, I believe, that there is a series of escalations happening here and there are no adults in the room, and they need to send an unequivocal signal that China will have Russia’s back in the event that this escalates out of control,” he added.

While neither government has any “reservations about the necessity” of their alliance, Lascarus argued that the West is forcing them to strengthen their relationship because of its aggressive actions. “Every day, Western governments are acting in a way which makes this partnership even more compelling to the Russian and Chinese governments.” With public sentiment turning against the “Ukrainian disaster” in both Europe and the US, Lascarus noted that polls show that the vast majority of French citizens think the country is heading in the wrong direction. “[France] has been one of the primary architects of this disastrous neocon policy in Ukraine,” he explained. “So we’re seeing already, that the political days of these characters are all numbered.” “The real question we have to confront as citizens of the West is, do we have an actual, competent, ethical, and principled alternative to these people? I don’t know that we do. But one thing is for sure, the public has enough and they’re on the way out the door.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777580903339876516

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“..to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)

On Sunday, US Rep. and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Michael R. Turner (R-OH) claimed that it is “absolutely true” that members of the US Republican party are repeating “pro-Russia messages” on the House floor, without naming the members. The US establishment disproven conspiracy that former US President Donald Trump was controlled by the Kremlin is about seizing control of social media and the internet as much as it is designed to harm Trump’s political ambitions, Serbian-American journalist and columnist Nebojsa Malic told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. Malic argues that the “completely fabricated” Russiagate conspiracy was “not just to sabotage the Trump presidency, but to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

Last year, a panel of federal judges ruled that the US intelligence agencies’ contact with social media companies, urging them to take down specific posts and block or ban certain users, likely constituted government censorship. The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed the case to the Supreme Court. “Russiagate was the pretext that started this entire ball rolling, and it wasn’t even based on anything real. And now they want to do it all over again,” Malic explained. “I was listening to [Senate Majority Leader, Senator] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak yesterday about how Ukraine is losing the war because [House Speaker, Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA) doesn’t want to give them money. No, Ukraine is losing the war because it has always been [losing] because it is fighting an industrial war it cannot win,” Malic continued. “The West can’t win because it doesn’t have the industrial capabilities because in the past 30 years, we shut down our industry and turned everything over to finance, but Chuck Schumer is too thick to understand that.”

The reality on the ground in Ukraine has turned many against US support for NATO’s proxy war in Russia, with more Americans (37%) saying the US spends too much on Ukraine than too little (27%) and only 13% responded that they were either “extremely confident” or “very confident” Ukraine will defeat Russia, compared to 49% who say they are “Not too confident” or “Not confident at all.” People are asking “How is this helping freedom and democracy, exactly?” Malic contended. “And [the establishment’s] response is ‘shut up, Russian Agent.’” “This is a breakdown. Because, again, the blob’s agenda is to use Russia’s phantom menace for a power grab at home on one hand, and to push for this geopolitical fantasy that Russia needs Ukraine to be a global empire,” Malic said, explaining that Russia doesn’t want a global empire.

“They voluntarily dissolved the Soviet Union in ‘91, believing all of these stories about freedom and democracy and capitalism and human rights, and they got taken advantage of. Demographically, the country was worse off in the ‘90s than during World War Two,” Malic explained. “When we talk about the golden age of the 1990s, post-Cold War, freedom, democracy, transition from socialism, this is a horror story to these people and nobody in America seems to understand this because they didn’t live through it.” However, Malic said that it is “theoretically possible” that the “blob” actually wants Trump to win the election to give them an excuse to get out of Ukraine. “Maybe they want to get out of this Ukrainian quagmire and blame somebody else for it. They might want Trump to get elected so they can say ‘Okay, well, it’s all his fault. Had we kept the Democrats in power, we would have totally won the war. But, oh, well, what can we do? We just have to move on to the next war,’ which will be China.”

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“..from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason..”

Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith in his final filing before the hearing is urging the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim and deny any motions to delay a trial on charges related to the 2020 federal election conspiracy case. Prosecutors from the DOJ allege President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied he did anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states, and maintains presidential immunity for his actions on that day, which prevents prosecution for any actions he took while still in the top job. In a fresh court brief on April 8, Mr. Smith pressed that President Trump’s argument for presidential immunity over official acts as president has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

“The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith said in the brief. “The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts.” According to Mr. Smith, former President Richard Nixon’s official conduct revealed during the Watergate scandal is the closest historical precedent for this situation. Mr. Smith says President Nixon eventually accepted a pardon from his successor, former President Gerald Ford, and that “his acceptance of a pardon implied his and President Ford’s recognition that a former President was subject to prosecution.”

“Since Watergate, the Department of Justice has held the view that a former President may face criminal prosecution, and Independent and Special Counsels have operated from that same understanding,” he said. Mr. Smith claims that despite President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, all former presidents knew and wholly understood they were open to facing criminal charges for conduct while in the White House. [..] “The effective functioning of the presidency does not require that a former president be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” he said. “To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law, including the president.”

Former President Trump has continued to argue that official acts by presidents should have immunity from criminal prosecution. Last month, he asked the Supreme Court to hold that he and other former presidents enjoy absolute criminal immunity from prosecution for official acts during their time in office. According to him, from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason. “The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” President Trump’s brief to the Court says. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

[..] the Court has historically upheld a level of presidential independence and ruled in the 1982 decision of Nixon v. Fitzgerald that a president enjoys absolute immunity from civil liability for acts that fall within the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. A secondary issue that may be addressed is the demarkation between personal and official acts during President Trump’s tenure, and a possible separation of actions he can be prosecuted for, and actions covered by presidential immunity. The outcome for the case could impact President Trump’s other legal battles, in which he also argues presidential immunity as a defense. A federal appeals court recently ruled that several civil cases against President Trump related to Jan. 6 could go forward, finding that the actions cited personal acts of a candidate rather than official acts of a president. The question whether this immunity applies to former presidents is also new territory.

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He gets blamed for adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump’s new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states — and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue: “States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different…many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his “respectful” disagreement with Trump’s new stance, saying that a states’ rights rationale against a federal limit “will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision,” which helped perpetuate slavery. Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country.” He elaborated on the political realities: “[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…”

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.” With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser “should study the 10th Amendment.” A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly “conservative” position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.” In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

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Live 500 meter high in a flat in a 170km straight-line city. No thanks.

Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)

Saudi Arabia has scaled back some of its ambitions for its desert megacity Neom, according to a report by Bloomberg. The $1.5 trillion megacity project, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. When launching The Line in 2021, the Saudi government had announced that 1.5 million people would be living in the city by 2030. Officials now expect there to be fewer that 300,000 residents by that time, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Friday. The source said that officials expected only 2.4km of the 170km city to be completed by 2030. As a result of the scaling back, one contractor dismissed some of the workers it employs on site, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Neom – part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and move away from oil reliance – is being built in the northwestern Tabuk province. Middle East Eye reported last year that construction was under way on The Line, based on satellite imagery. The Line is due to have no cars or roads, and a high-speed rail service running across the length of the city, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced three years ago. Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km wide are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered in 2022.

In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and a Red Sea luxury island resort called Sindalah. The Sindalah project is due to open later this year. Sources told Bloomberg that work was continuing on other parts of the Neom project, and Saudi officials still backed the overall aims of The Line. The sources added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is providing most of the funding for the project, has yet to confirm its 2024 budget for Neom. The scaling back of the megacity project comes as the Public Investment Fund cash reserves dropped to $15bn in September, its lowest levels since 2020.

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Fell just 2%? Barely a tumble.

Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks. Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time. On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement. Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker callin it “f**king sh*t.” “This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.” Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.” Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

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Heroes

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Red Wolf

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Parkour
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777445115415482483

 

 

Swan

 

 

Dolly

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 092024
 


James McNeill Whistler Nocturne in Black and Gold, the Falling Rocket 1875

 

America Has a Third World Economy (Paul Craig Roberts)
Lara Trump: RNC Focused Like a Laser on Election Integrity (ET)
Trump Says Abortion Should Be Decided By States, ‘Will Of The People’ (ZH)
Insiders Describe Trump’s Ukraine Plan To Washington Post (RT)
“Plainly Erred”: Judge Reggie Walton Rebuked by DC Circuit in J6 Case (Turley)
Historic ‘Uncommitted’ Vote Will SCREW Biden 2024 (Snyder)
Brutal, Chaotic War (Alastair Crooke)
Even With AI ‘Kill List’, Israel ‘No Closer to Achieving’ Goals (Sp.)
Just Nuke Gaza, Get It Over Quick: Representative Tim Walberg (SCF)
Centuria, Ukraine’s Western-trained neo-Nazi Army (GZ)
US ‘Deep State’ Will Call Shots in Ukraine, Not Trump or Biden (Sp.)
Federal Judge Rebukes DOJ on Refusal to Comply with House Subpoenas (Turley)
‘Brazil’s Darth Vader’ Orders Investigation Into Elon Musk (ZH)
FAA Investigating Boeing 737 That Lost Engine Cover During Takeoff (Sp.)
The Emperor Of Ice Cream Is Russian Ice Cream (Helmer)
Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Push Back Against UN, WEF and WHO (PB)

 

 

 

 

Staying alive
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777319226186875235

 

 

Appearance

 

 

Paul Harvey

 

 

Kurosawa

 

 

 

 

“The tell-tale sign of a third world economy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority. In the United States this is called “democracy.”

America Has a Third World Economy (Paul Craig Roberts)

Friday’s jobs report, the financial press tells us, “blew past projections,” with a monthly jobs gain of 303,000 compared to the 231,000 average over the past year. The Biden economy is gathering steam. In actual fact the jobs report shows that the United States is continuing its collapse into third worldism. A first world economy is characterized by high productivity, high value-added manufacturing and industrial jobs. A third world economy is characterized by low productivity service and government jobs. As I have reported for 30 years, the US has transitioned from the first to the third world.

The jobs report shows that. In March America lost jobs in primary metal manufacturing, fabricated metal product manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, computer and electronic product manufacturing, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, communications equipment manufacturing, semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing, furniture and related product manufacturing, food manufacturing, textile product manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, plastics and rubber products manufacturing, leather and allied product manufacturing. 190,000 of the jobs are in services, and 71,000 are in government. In other words, 86% of the jobs gain reflect the third world pattern. The service jobs are in wholesale and retail trade, health care and social assistance, and waitresses and bartenders. The high tech jobs we were promised in exchange for offshoring US manufacturing industry are hardly visible and certainly did not provide opportunities for displaced manufacturing workers. Moreover, most tech jobs–AI, robotics, software programs–are aimed at displacing humans from the work force.

The offshoring of US manufacturing destroyed the middle class, state and local government budgets, the ladders of upward mobility, and concentrated the wealth of the country in one percent of the population. That one percent itself is a massively wide wealth range from $11 million to 200,000 million, which are certainly not comparable wealth positions. The difference is the same as between $11 and $200,000. American wealth is concentrated in the hands of multi-billionaires who comprise one-tenth of one percent or less of the population. The tell-tale sign of a third world economy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority. In the United States this is called “democracy.” And an increase in third world jobs is misrepresented as economic progress. They will never stop lying to us.

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They will need to be.

Lara Trump: RNC Focused Like a Laser on Election Integrity (ET)

Republican National Committee (RNC) co-chair Lara Trump said Sunday that election integrity is a top priority in the upcoming November election and the committee is focused on it “like a laser.” During an interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” on April 7, Ms. Trump said that the committee will dedicate all of its resources to its Election Integrity Division “as needed.” “When you talk about election integrity, it is vital. It is the number one thing that we are focused on, aside from getting out the vote, which, of course, Donald Trump himself will do for us,” Ms. Trump said. “We are making sure that we leave nothing to chance because we have to understand the importance of this election,” she added. Former President Donald Trump raked in a massive $50.5 million in funds for his reelection bid on Saturday. With this funding, Ms. Trump, the daughter-in-law of President Trump, said the RNC can now afford to ensure that poll workers are trained and lawyers are present in every voting precinct.

“Prior to last night, the largest single event fundraiser in politics ever was the one that Joe Biden had. And he needed three presidents to haul in $26 million,” she said, referring to President Biden’s fundraiser in March, which included former presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton. “We needed one man, Donald J. Trump, one president, to double that,” Ms. Trump added. Ms. Trump said that the outcome of this fundraiser event reflects a shift where “people are not sitting on the sidelines anymore.” “They understand what’s at stake. It’s a must-win election. And from the election integrity perspective, we’re focused on it like a laser at the RNC,” she added. Under a joint-fundraising agreement, funds from the fundraiser event will go to the Trump campaign, the former president’s Save America PAC, the RNC, and state GOP parties.

RNC chair Michael Whatley, who was also present for the interview, said the committee will spend “every dollar” raised on two “critical core” missions: increasing voter turnout and protecting the ballot. Mr. Whatley said that the RNC is working with state legislatures, boards of elections, and secretaries of state to ensure the implementation of the rules of the road. The committee will file lawsuits if the rules are not adhered to, he said, adding that the RNC had filed over 80 lawsuits in 24 states “to make sure that we have the ground ready to go for safe elections.” The committee has also been recruiting and training thousands of observers and attorneys “to make sure that we are in the room” when a vote is cast and counted, Mr. Whatley said.

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“Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be..”

Trump Says Abortion Should Be Decided By States, ‘Will Of The People’ (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump said in a Monday announcement that he believes abortion should be left to the states and that in-vitro fertilization (IFV) should be available, he said in a video statement posted on Truth Social. “My view is…the states will determine by legislation or vote or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people,” Trump said. “You must follow your heart or, in many cases, your religion or your faith. Do what’s right for your family and do what’s right for yourself…do what’s right for our country.”

Trump had previously indicated that he would publish his position regarding abortion, which is a large departure from a federal abortion limit that some Republicans have pushed for. He also said regarding IVF, “We want to make it easier for mothers and families to have babies, not harder. That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America.” Last week, Trump told reporters at a Michigan campaign stop that he would make a statement in the coming week, after he was asked about Florida’s controversial six-week abortion ban.

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Smells more like WaPo campaigning.

“..mere “speculation” by “uninformed sources who have no idea what is going on or what will happen”..

Insiders Describe Trump’s Ukraine Plan To Washington Post (RT)

Ukraine will have to give up some of the territory it currently claims to Russia as part of a peace deal envisioned by former US President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing anonymous insiders. The Republican nominee for the November election has boasted on numerous occasions that he would be able to end the Ukraine conflict in 24 hours, should he win the presidency. However, Trump has declined to provide details on his plan. The terms that Trump wants to push through involve Kiev’s acknowledgement of Crimea and Donbass as parts of Russia, the newspaper said, citing people who discussed the issue with the former president or his advisers. However, his campaign downplayed those accounts as mere “speculation” by “uninformed sources who have no idea what is going on or what will happen”.

Crimea has been a part of Russia since 2014, when residents rejected a US-backed armed coup in Kiev and voted in a referendum to seek Russian protection from the new government. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics also defied the post-coup authorities and took up arms, when Kiev sent in the army to quash them. Ukraine’s refusal to implement a roadmap for reconciliation with Donbass, the so-called Minsk Agreements, and preparation for renewed hostilities, were cited by Moscow as the key triggers of the current conflict. Western officials have pledged military support for Kiev for “as long as it takes” to resist Russia. However a string of battlefield setbacks for Ukrainian forces and the Western failure to provide sufficient aid have put a dent in the strategy.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week urged foreign donors to ramp up support, with the aim of giving Kiev a stronger position during hypothetical peace talks. “The way to convince Russia that they have to sit down and accept a solution where Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent democratic nation in Europe is to give military support to Ukraine,” he told the BBC on Sunday. “Of course, at the end of the day it has to be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises they are willing to [make].” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has declared full the capture of lost territories, including Crimea, as the only outcome of the conflict that his government will accept. Moscow has said it is willing to negotiate, if Kiev acknowledges the “reality on the ground”.

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As I said yesterday: “The judge really wants to go after Tucker Carlson.”

“..the Justice Department continues to act with a sense of utter impunity, particularly when judges are willing to blithely sign off on such orders..”

“Plainly Erred”: Judge Reggie Walton Rebuked by DC Circuit in J6 Case (Turley)

D.C. Circuit Judge Reggie Walton recently caused a stir in Washington after doing an interview with CNN in which he rebuked former President Donald Trump for his criticism of judges and their family members. Now, Judge Walton has been criticized by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for a surveillance order of the computer of a January 6th defendant to detect any spreading of “disinformation” or “misinformation.”
Critics charged that Walton’s interview with CNN ran afoul of Canon 3A(6) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which states: “A judge should not make public comment on the merits of a matter pending or impending in any court.” The issue of these public statements by Trump is currently pending before both state and federal courts, including proceedings in the District of Columbia. At a minimum, Judge Walton’s interview showed poor judicial judgment and only reaffirmed the distrust and suspicion of many over the independence of the court system in addressing these controversial cases.

Judge Walton previously called Trump a “charlatan,” and said that “I don’t think he cares about democracy, only power.” I have previously criticized Trump for public comments against judges and believe that such matters should be primarily raised in court filings. Nevertheless, I have serious objections to the scope of these gag orders on free speech grounds, particularly before an election that could turn in large part on allegations of the weaponization of the legal system. Moreover, we now have a judge who feels the same license to make such criticisms in the media despite the ongoing litigation of these matters. That alleged transgression, however, pales in comparison to a failure to protect the rights of this defendant from the abusive or unsupported surveillance of the government.

The order reflects the utter impunity shown by the Justice Department in its pursuit of January 6th defendants. Justice Department official Michael Sherwin proudly declared in a television interview that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe … it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re, like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.”

Sherwin was celebrated for his pledge to use such draconian means to send a message to others in the country. (Sherwin has left the Justice Department and is now a partner at Kobre & Kim). The surveillance of the computer shows that the Justice Department continues to act with a sense of utter impunity, particularly when judges are willing to blithely sign off on such orders. The case involved Daniel Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, who pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. That is a relatively minor offense but Walton imposed a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023.

Walton reportedly noted that Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023 and ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release. As a condition for supervised release, the Justice Department was reportedly seeking evidence on the defendant’s political opinions and Walton felt that that was fine. The appellate judges (Gregory Katsas, Neomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia) did not: “The district court plainly erred in imposing the computer-monitoring condition without considering whether it was ‘reasonably related’ to the relevant sentencing factors and involved ‘no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary’ to achieve the purposes behind the sentencing.”

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Protest vote.

Historic ‘Uncommitted’ Vote Will SCREW Biden 2024 (Snyder)

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“We are very clear that we want to start a war with Iran and Hezbollah. Do you still not understand?”

Brutal, Chaotic War (Alastair Crooke)

We stand on the cusp of what might be termed Chaotic War. Not the formula used by Israel often in the past to intimidate adversaries; this is different. Israeli reporter Eddie Cohen said, in the wake of the attack on the Iranian Consulate: “We are very clear that we want to start a war with Iran and Hezbollah. Do you still not understand?” “Israel wants to drag Iran into a full-scale war in order to be able to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities”, though these facilities are beyond American and Israeli reach, buried beneath mountains. Cohen, and of course, Israel’s military leadership, will know that; but Israel nonetheless is locking itself into a logic that can only lead to defeat. Iran’s nuclear facilities are safe from Israeli assault. The destruction of civilian Iranian infrastructure, which is out in the open, may kill many, but will not, per se, collapse the Iranian state. Trita Parsi places Israel’s objective in attacking the Iranian Consulate in Damascus in a different context:

“An important aspect of Israel’s conduct – and Biden’s acquiescence to it – is that Israel is engaged in a deliberate and systematic effort to destroy existing laws and norms around warfare. Even during wartime, embassies are off-limits [yet] Israel just bombed an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus. Bombing hospitals is a war crime, [yet] Israel has bombed EVERY hospital in Gaza. It has even assassinated doctors and patients inside hospitals. The ICJ obligated Israel to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israel actively prevents aid from coming in. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited under international humanitarian law. Israel has deliberately created a famine in Gaza. Indiscriminate bombings are illegal under international humanitarian law. Biden himself admits that Israel is bombing Gaza indiscriminately”.

The list goes on and on … However, Israel’s breach of Vienna Convention immunity accorded to diplomatic premises – plus the stature of those killed – is highly significant. It is a major signal: Israel wants war – but with U.S. support, of course. Israel’s aim, firstly, is to destroy the norms, conventions and laws of warfare; to create geo-political anarchy in which anything goes, and by which, with the White House frustrated, yet acquiescing to each norm of conduct obtrusively trodden underfoot, allows Netanyahu to grip the U.S. bridle and lead the White House horse to water – towards his regional End of Times ‘Great Victory’; a necessarily brutal war – beyond existing red lines and devoid of limits. As symbolically significant as the Damascus attack is that the U.S., France and Britain – after a brief ‘hat tip’ to the Vienna Convention – refused to condemn the levelling of the Iranian Consulate, thus placing the shadow of doubt over the Vienna Convention’s immunity for diplomatic premises.

Implicitly, this refusal to condemn will be widely understood as a soft condoning of Israel’s first tentative step towards war with Hizbullah and Iran. This Israeli chaotic ‘Biblical’ nihilism, however, bears no relationship in purely rational terms to Netanyahu’s aspiration for a ‘Great Victory’. The reality is that Israel has lost its deterrence. It won’t return; the deep anger across the Islamic world generated by Israel through its massacres in Gaza during the last six months precludes it. Yet, there is a second, adjunct reason why Israel is set on deliberately flouting humanitarian law and norms: Israeli journalist, Yuval Abraham reports in +972 Magazine in great depth how Israel has developed a AI machine (called ‘Lavender’) to generate kill lists in Gaza – with almost no human verification; only a “rubber stamp” check of about “20 seconds” to make sure the AI target is male (as no females are known to belong to the Resistance’s military).

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“Israel refuses to accept a political solution to end the war because the right-wing government of Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a ‘virtue’ out of this conflict..”

Even With AI ‘Kill List’, Israel ‘No Closer to Achieving’ Goals (Sp.)

The Israel Defense Forces announced Sunday that the “active invasion stage” of its campaign in Gaza had reached its end, withdrawing elements of Division 98 from Khan Yunis, southern Gaza while marking the intention to continue the occupation the strip’s central and northern areas using forces from the 162nd Division’s Brigade 401 and the 933rd Nahal Brigade. “The 98th Commando Division has concluded its mission in Khan Yunis,” the IDF said in a statement. “The division left the Gaza Strip in order to recuperate and prepare for future operations.” “A significant force led by the 162nd Division and the Nahal Brigade continues to operate in the Gaza Strip and will preserve the IDF’s freedom of action and its ability to conduct precise intelligence based operations,” the military said. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stressed that an operation at the Rafah checkpoint separating Gaza from Egypt was still planned, but offered no further details.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel was “one step away from victory” but that “the price we paid is painful and heartbreaking” (presumably referring to Israeli troop losses). Commenting on truce talks imminently expected to resume in Cairo, Netanyahu said “there will be no ceasefire without the return of hostages.” While the IDF assures that the shift in its operations has nothing to do with mounting international pressure on Israel, Israeli media have said that the “timing was unmistakable,” and likely connected to backlash stemming from the IDF’s targeted killings of seven humanitarian aid workers in Gaza last week. Sunday’s shift in approach comes days after Israel announced the opening of the Erez Crossing separating northern Gaza from southern Israel, and allowed the temporary use of Ashdod Port for aid deliveries amid reported threats by Washington – its main foreign sponsor, to cut off arms aid.

Israel first began scaling back the intensity of its Gaza ground offensive in January, shifting part of its forces, including Division 63, to the northern border with Lebanon amid escalating back-and-forth skirmishes with Hezbollah and fears of a second front opening up in the north. Division 98 claimed partial victory in the Khan Yunis area in February, but left forces on the ground, supposedly for the purpose of getting concessions from Hamas in hostage negotiations. “Six months after Israel launched its attack under the banner of self-defense and the stated objective of destroying Hamas, Israel is no closer to achieving its military goals,” Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, a Middle Eastern politics expert at Deakin University in Australia, told Sputnik. “Hamas continues to engage Israeli forces in skirmishes. Israeli hostages are still in Hamas captivity and the civilian toll is mounting by the minute. Israel refuses to accept a political solution to end the war because the right-wing government of Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a ‘virtue’ out of this conflict,” Dr. Akbarzadeh said.

In the past six months, Israel has seriously undermined its international standing, and the reputation of its military, with Arab countries who once considered inking formal relations with Tel Aviv shying away from the idea, and the bloody nose the Israeli military got fighting Hamas and its allies showing that the IDF of today has become a shadow of its former self. As far as Sunday’s partial IDF withdrawal from southern Gaza is concerned, Akbarzadeh said that it’s “hard to read too much into the IDF relocation of troops in the absence of any signal from the Israeli government regarding a ceasefire or a break in fighting.” The IDF says 604 Israeli troops have been killed through the course of fighting in the past six months (Hamas estimates Israeli losses at over 1,600 troops killed). The IDF says 32,000 “terrorist targets” were struck over the course of the campaign and that over 13,000 militants were killed in Gaza.

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God complex. “Walberg went on to say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “moral clarity.”

Just Nuke Gaza, Get It Over Quick: Representative Tim Walberg (SCF)

The Jews are closely associated with the word holocaust. The word is culturally attached to the Jewish people, recalling a terrible genocide in Europe in the WW2 era which killed millions. It wasn’t the first genocide of modern times, that was committed on the Armenians and Syrian Christians in 1916, and it likely will not be the last genocide. We are currently watching the 2024 genocide in Gaza. Similarly, the Japanese are closely associated with the word Hiroshima, recalling the twin U.S. attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which turned some 100,000 people instantly into ashes, and killed thousands more in the days that followed, mostly civilians. On March 25, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, Republican of Michigan, was speaking at a town hall meeting in Dundee, Michigan. He was asked a question about why U.S. money is being spent to build a port to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Walberg said, “It’s (President) Joe Biden’s reason. I don’t think we should. I don’t think any of our aid that goes to Israel to support our greatest ally, arguably maybe in the world, to defeat Hamas, and Iran and Russia and probably North Korea’s in there and China too, with them helping Hamas. We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick.” After the video of Walberg’s calling for the Palestinian people in Gaza to be nuked went viral on social media, Walberg spokesman Mike Rorke confirmed the validity of the video. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a Michigan chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, condemned Walberg’s call to end humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza and instead nuke the civilian population into extermination.

Humanitarian groups and the UN say a port is necessary because Israel has blocked seven land routes for food and medicine to get in to Gaza. The UN warns that famine is “imminent” in Gaza. The International Court of Justice last week ruled unanimously that Israel must allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza because “famine is setting in.” Walberg serves as the U.S. Congressional representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district. He has previously represented the 7th district from 2007 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2023. As the longest tenured member from Michigan, Walberg is the current Dean of its delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1973 to 1977, Walberg served as pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in New Haven, Indiana. He also spent time as a pastor and as a division manager for the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Walberg often talks about his faith guiding his politics. A graduate of three evangelical schools: Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, Tayler University in Indiana, and Wheaton College in Illinois.

In February, Moody published a quote from Walberg, “Living out my biblical worldview and not succumbing to acquiesce in any way, shape, or form to anything that God condemns. … I can’t — by silence or direct statement — condone what God condemns.” In an interview with World magazine, Walberg said, “Everything comes at me through the filter of my faith. It has to be that way if this is more than a religion.” In April 2019, a Jewish group at the University of Michigan hosted Walberg speaking. Walberg spoke on how his religion guides his support for Israel. He said the main reason he fervently believes the U.S. must support Israel is because he believes God supports Israel. “I read the Torah, I’ve read the entire Old Testament,” Walberg said. “What God condemns, I condemn. Who God loves I will love. If I don’t, I’m a sinner.” Walberg went on to say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “moral clarity.” “The most impressive experience was being able to be with Bibi Netanyahu,” Walberg said. “In his presence, I understand very clearly he knows good from evil, right from wrong, success from failure.”

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“Unlike the US, Germany does not enjoy an ocean-length buffer between itself and the fascistic proxy warriors it sponsors in Ukraine..”

“There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned.”

Centuria, Ukraine’s Western-trained neo-Nazi Army (GZ)

Centuria, an ultra-violent Ukrainian Neo-Nazi faction, has cemented itself in six cities across Germany, and is seeking to expand its local presence. According to Junge Welt, a Berlin-based Marxist daily, the Nazi organization’s growth has been “unhindered by local security services.” Junge Welt traces Centuria’s origins to an August 2020 Neo-Nazi summit “at the edge of a forest near Kiev.” There, an ultranationalist named Igor “Tcherkas” Mikhailenko demanded the “hundreds of mostly masked vigilante fighters present,” who were members Kiev’s fascistic National Militia, “make sacrifices for the idea of ‘Greater Ukraine.’” As the former head of the Neo-Nazi Patriot of Ukraine’s Kharkiv division, and commander of the state sponsored Azov Battalion from 2014 to 2015, Mikhailenko has professed a desire to “destroy everything anti-Ukrainian.”

Junge Welt reports that since 2017, the National Militia “had been practicing brutal vigilante justice” throughout Ukraine, including “tyrannizing the LGBTQ scene.” Centuria was subsequently blamed for a terrifying November 2021 attack on a gay nightclub in Kiev, in which its operatives assaulted revelers with truncheons and pepper spray. Now the same Neo-Nazi sect “has an offshoot in Germany,” Junge Welt revealed. On August 24 2023, the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, Centuria convened a “nationalist rally” in the central city of Magdeburg, “unmolested by Antifa and critical media reporting.” Participants proudly posed with the flag of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) founded by World War II-era Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. Centuria boasted at the time on Telegram, “although Ukrainian youth are not in their homeland, they are starting to unite.” Meanwhile, they threatened the “enemies” of their country with “hellish storm,” pledging that “Ukrainian emigrants” would not “forget their national identity for a few hundred euros.”

Junge Welt reports that Centuria “is currently raising funds for its parent organization’s combat unit,” which is commanded by Andriy Biletsky – the Azov Battalion founder who infamously stated in 2014 that the Ukrainian nation’s mission was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade… against Semite-led Untermenschen.” At home, Centuria’s members express similar attitudes towards Muslims, Africans, and gays, whom they refer to, respectively, as the “German Caliphate,” “black rapists,” and “pedophiles.” Now, the group’s members are working hard to pass their ideological vision down to future racists across the continent. “We are creating a new generation of heroes!” Centuria’s Telegram channel boasts. Accordingly, the neo-Nazi group has been arranging hiking trips to Germany’s Harz mountains with a Ukrainian nationalist scout association called Plast. This outfit opened chapters across the Western world beginning in the 1950s, in response to the Soviet Union’s hounding of fascists and nationalists.

Besides receiving ideological indoctrination, Plast’s youthful members may have the opportunity to improve their physical fitness and receive military training. As Centuria ominously declares on Telegram, “free people have weapons.” As Washington gradually backs away from its sponsorship of Ukraine’s war with Russia, it has begun ceding responsibility for the military campaign’s management – and likely failure – to Berlin. If US arms shipments continue to dwindle, Germany will become Kiev’s chief supplier of weapons. And the Germans may find that saying “no” to Ukraine could result in some nasty surprises. Unlike the US, Germany does not enjoy an ocean-length buffer between itself and the fascistic proxy warriors it sponsors in Ukraine. After Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive finally collapsed in late 2023, its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, grumbled a veiled threat during an interview with the Economist: “There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned.”

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“..the strategic patience embodied by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s mantra: “hide your strength, bide your time.”

US ‘Deep State’ Will Call Shots in Ukraine, Not Trump or Biden (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump has startled European leaders in recent weeks with plans to interfere in the functioning of NATO and reorient US foreign policy if reelected this November. The brash real estate magnate frequently threatens Western allies with cuts to US funding for the decades-old alliance and has recently touted a proposal he claims would rapidly bring the war in the Donbass to an end. Both ideas have proven distinctly unappetizing to Europe’s political elite, who reject any concession of territory to Russia regardless of the wishes of the region’s inhabitants. The threat of Trump’s restoration to power has prompted moves to provide Ukraine with a multi-year fund for President Volodymyr Zelensky to continue hostilities whether his country is supported by the United States or not. But the ultimate decision over whether American aid will continue to flow to the embattled leader may not lie with the US president at all.

That’s according to international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda, who made the provocative comment on Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Monday. “They’re playing a completely different information warfare game than the Kiev regime,” noted the expert, responding to Russia’s successes on the battlefield in recent days. “The Kiev regime in its eight-month hyped runup to their badly failed NATO proxy offensive in the south – where they were mauled and defeated by Russian forces – They were running… movie-quality trailers, hyping up their offensive.” “And it was on the front page of every major publication and news hour in the West.” Russia, meanwhile, appears to subscribe to the strategic patience embodied by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s mantra: “hide your strength, bide your time.” “Russia is playing a game of operational silence,” Sleboda claimed. “While the Avdeyevka siege was going on, the Russian Ministry of Defense never even said the name Avdeyevka. It was completely left out of reports.

So obviously one of the reasons [for Russia’s success] is operational security. They’re not giving any information extra to the West or the Kiev regime forces.” “Another thing is there continue to be rumors and there’s no question that there’s large numbers of Russian troops that have signed up as volunteers, like more than 400,000 now,” he added. A surge of patriotic fervor has spurred thousands of Russian citizens towards military recruitment centers – especially after last month’s terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue, for which Russians widely assign blame to Ukraine. Kiev, meanwhile, has relied on forcible conscriptions to fill the ranks of its depleted military as draft dodging remains a major problem for the country. Ukraine’s chronic struggles may lead some observers to conclude the country should seek negotiations with Moscow, something Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently urged. But Sleboda claims forces behind the scenes will insist on continuing to use the country as a battering ram against Russia.

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“I think it’s quite rich you guys pursue criminal investigations and put people in jail for not showing up . . . And now you guys are flouting those subpoenas. . . . And you don’t have to show up?”

Federal Judge Rebukes DOJ on Refusal to Comply with House Subpoenas (Turley)

“Are you kidding me?” Those are four words that no lawyer wants to hear from a judge in a hearing. But that was not the least of it for Justice Department lawyers fighting House subpoenas into the Biden corruption scandal. U.S. District Court Judge Ana Reyes slammed the DOJ for stonewalling Congress on the subpoenas while imprisoning figures like former Trump adviser Peter Navarro for doing the same thing. The Biden Administration has blocked the testimony of prosecutors Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, who were involved in an inexplicable decision of the Justice Department to allow major felonies against Hunter Biden to lapse. In prior hearings, IRS whistleblowers testified that they had an agreement on the table to extend the statute of limitations on the crimes, but Special Counsel David Weiss allowed the period to lapse without any explanation. Since the DOJ was in the midst of a plea negotiations, it made no sense that the DOJ would simply kill potential charges.

The handling of the Hunter Biden investigation has been widely criticized as affording special treatment to the President’s son, including scuttling searches of Biden property and giving Hunter a heads up before attempts to interview him. Ultimately, the DOJ cut a plea bargain with Hunter that many of us rejected as laughable. It not only failed to charge the full array of still viable criminal allegations (including being an unregistered foreign agent), but included an absurd immunity agreement that would bar future charges. The plea agreement fell apart in open court after the judge asked the lead prosecutor a simple question of whether in his long career he had ever seen such an immunity deal. He answered no. Yet even after that meltdown, the DOJ admits that it tried to restore most of the agreement, but Hunter Biden’s team was insistent that the original deal remained enforceable — a position repeatedly rejected by later courts.

The DOJ was in a bizarre position. Its effort to give Hunter a sweetheart deal — or at least most of the original deal — could not occur because the beneficiary wanted it all. It had little choice but to charge him with the tax and gun crimes. The House is in the midst of an impeachment inquiry that includes allegations of influence over the Hunter investigation. While insisting that there was no pressure or special dealing in the matter, the DOJ has blocked key sources of evidence. That led to the House subpoenas. I also have previously written on the sharp contrast between the Hunter Biden charges and those against Sen. Menendez despite the underlying similarities. The only way for the House to investigate such corrupt special dealings is to interview the principle actors, including these two attorneys.

Otherwise, as Democratic members have done, critics can insist that they have no direct evidence of wrongdoing. It appears that confusion expressed by many of us is shared by Judge Reyes. Judge Reyes noted the obvious: “There’s a person in jail right now because you all brought a criminal lawsuit against him because he did not appear for a House subpoena.” The DOJ demanded six months in prison. Navarro is now serving a four-month sentence. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon also received a four-month sentence. Reyes noted that “I think it’s quite rich you guys pursue criminal investigations and put people in jail for not showing up . . . And now you guys are flouting those subpoenas. . . . And you don’t have to show up?” Reyes noted that the DOJ lawyers were “making a bunch of arguments that you would never accept from any other litigant . . . I imagine that there are hundreds, if not thousands of defense attorneys . . . who would be happy to hear that DOJ’s position is, if you don’t agree with a subpoena, if you believe it’s unconstitutional or unlawful, you can unilaterally not show up.”

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“Musk said that Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes had “brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil,” and should “resign or be impeached.”

‘Brazil’s Darth Vader’ Orders Investigation Into Elon Musk (ZH)

Brazil’s activist Supreme Court justice Alexandre de Moraes has ordered an investigation into Elon Musk, after the billionaire vowed to defy a court order as part of an ongoing probe into social media accounts allegedly spreading misinformation and ‘hate’ speech. “The flagrant conduct of obstruction of Brazilian justice, incitement of crime, the public threat of disobedience of court orders and future lack of cooperation from the platform are facts that disrespect the sovereignty of Brazil,” wrote de Moraes – who Musk called “Brazil’s Darth Vader” over the weekend. While X initially said in a Saturday post that they would comply, blocking certain popular accounts in Brazil – Musk said an hour later, after the release of the “TWITTER FILES BRAZIL,” that they would not, noting that “As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there.”

in a Sunday post, Musk said that Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes had “brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil,” and should “resign or be impeached.” De Moraes said that as part of his decision to open an inquiry, that “X shall refrain from disobeying any court order already issued, including performing any profile reactivation that has been blocked by this Supreme Court,” Reuters reports. The justice said that Musk would face a fine that equates to approximately $20,000 each time an account is reactivated on X. The TWITTER FILES BRAZIL, reported by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger, and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, reveal that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

“Sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censoring, Mr. Shellenberger said of his findings, which he has shared on X. He named lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as targets of orders targeting posts the court deemed misinformation. According to the internal files Mr. Shellenberger shared, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine. The company had one hour to remove the Congress members’ posts or pay the court for noncompliance. The article reports that the justice had even been jailing individuals without trial for things posted on social media. According to Mr. Shellenberger, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly made demands to Twitter to allow access to its internal data, in violation of Twitter’s own policies on the handling of user data”. -Epoch Times.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777378067528438038

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“We all felt kind of a bump, a jolt, and I looked out the window because I love window seats, and there it was..”

Which airlines will order Boeing planes now?

FAA Investigating Boeing 737 That Lost Engine Cover During Takeoff (Sp.)

Flight 3695 was on its way to Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport Sunday when it was forced to return to its gate at Denver, and did so safely at 8:15 AM local time, said the FAA. Customers then transferred to a different aircraft and arrived at their destination three hours late. One passenger said the engine cowling “peeled off within the first 10 minutes” of the flight. Another person simply said of the plane part “it all blew away”. “We all felt kind of a bump, a jolt, and I looked out the window because I love window seats, and there it was,” the passenger said. “People in the exit row across from me started yelling up to the flight attendants and showed them the damage,” another passenger said, adding that the experience was “frightening”. Southwest said its maintenance crew would review the aircraft, which had reached an altitude of about 10,000 feet when one of the engine cowlings peeled off.

The FAA also said it will investigate the incident. “We apologize for the inconvenience of their delay but place our highest priority on ultimate safety for our Customers and Employees,” said Southwest in a statement. They added that no injuries were reported. It’s the latest incident in a series of mechanical issues creating a PR headache for Boeing. On January 5, a door plug panel tore off a new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 at 16,000 feet. Though the situation could have been tragic, no one was seriously injured. The FAA is also investigating a separate Southwest incident that occurred in March when one of its flights strayed off course and flew close to the air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport while attempting to land. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced last month that he would step down by the end of the year. Boeing also replaced its chairman and chief executive of its commercial plane unit.

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“Ice cream-eating doesn’t correlate with military capabilities, but a rising consumption rate predicts winning wars; a falling rate, losing them..”

The Emperor Of Ice Cream Is Russian Ice Cream (Helmer)

Ice cream is ancient enough to have been demanded by at least three well-known emperors – Alexander the Great of Greece, Nero of Rome, and Charles I of England, all of them ill-fated. Ice cream, as we know it, doesn’t become easy to eat until it ceased to be plutocratic. Refrigeration technology, not political revolution, did the trick. The industry of cows is a fillip, too. This is why New Zealand, world largest exporter of dairy products, is also the world’s leading consumer of ice cream. At 28.4 litres per person per annum, New Zealanders far outstrip Americans at 20.8 litres, and Australians at 18 litres. Sub-zero winter countries like Finland, Sweden, and Canada lag further behind. In Europe’s hottest summer weather, Portugal is far ahead of Spain, France, and Italy in the volume of ice cream sold but that’s because foreign tourists buy it, not the locals.

So when Soyuzmoloko, the Russian Union of Milk Producers, announced last week that in 2023 the volume of ice cream produced in Russia had jumped by 13%, and per capita consumption of dairy products had recovered to the Soviet level, the news is significant. It means that Russians eating more ice cream is a measure of confidence in the present value of their spending power, the future security of their savings, and victory in the present war. When the American poet Wallace Stevens wrote his poem “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” in 1922, he was holidaying in Cuba. Observing the funeral of a poor woman whose corpse was in another room, the guests were eating ice cream. The poet’s pessimistic conclusion was “Let be be finale of seem/The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream”. Stevens was implying that ice cream is more permanent in life than life itself – at least among poor Cubans.

When Winston Churchill was in Moscow to meet Joseph Stalin on a sub-zero day in the autumn of 1944, he asked an aide what Russians he could see were eating as they stood in the city street. When told they were eating ice cream, Churchill reportedly said: “The people who eat ice cream in such cold weather are invincible.” None of Churchill’s successors in Europe or the US has got this message yet. According to Soyuzmoloko, domestic production of ice cream in 2023 increased by 13% over the year before to reach 524,000 tonnes. This represents a per capita consumption level of 3.6 litres, a jump of 16% over the level at the end of 2021. While the Russians are trailing well behind the new NATO enemies, the Finns (14.2 litres per person) and Swedes (12.0 litres), the Russian rate of growth is fast and positive – and much faster than the average global growth rate projected over the next five years at 4% annually. By contrast, the Finnish and Swedish consumption rates have been falling sharply over the past decade.

Ice cream-eating doesn’t correlate with military capabilities, but a rising consumption rate predicts winning wars; a falling rate, losing them. The Russian ice cream makers are also steadily boosting their export volumes, while imports from the US and the European Union are plummeting. Compared to last year, Soyuzmoloko says Russia’s base milk output will grow by about 4% this year, while exports of ice cream will jump by up to 18%, if sanctions curbs on transport and payment can be neutralized. Sanctions war is proving to be the icing on Russia’s ice cream cake. “The global market potential is absolutely fantastic,” Artem Belov, the head of Soyuzmoloko, said in January. “First of all, we are talking about countries friendly to Russia, primarily the markets of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, which open up enormous opportunities for Russia to increase exports.”

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“No rule, regulation, fee, tax, policy, or mandate of any kind of the World Health Organization, United Nations, and the World Economic Forum shall be enforced or implemented..”

Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Push Back Against UN, WEF and WHO (PB)

The Louisiana Senate has enacted legislation that would free the state from mandates and requirements imposed by international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), and World Economic Forum. Senate Bill 133 was unanimously passed with bipartisan support to prevent international bodies from declaring jurisdiction over the state, stipulating that the three above-named organizations “shall have no jurisdiction or power within the state of Louisiana.” The legislation prohibits these tyrannical, unelected, and undemocratic institutions from unilaterally exerting any jurisdiction or power over Louisiana citizens.

“The World Health Organization, United Nations, and the World Economic Forum shall have no jurisdiction or power within the state of Louisiana. No rule, regulation, fee, tax, policy, or mandate of any kind of the World Health Organization, United Nations, and the World Economic Forum shall be enforced or implemented by the state of Louisiana or any agency, department, board, commission, political subdivision, governmental entity of the state, parish, municipality, or any other political entity.” Vigilant News reports the legislation is “still pending passage in Louisiana’s Republican-majority House,” however, the bill is likely to pass. The bill comes as the WHO, UN, and WEF are working to promote a global pandemic treaty, which would give those agencies greater discretion over how nation-states react in the case of another pandemic.

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Tension

 

 

Tuck in

 

 

Thank you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777448331217903785

 

 

Swans

 

 

Whale

 

 

Pupper

 

 

Whale birth

 

 

Porcupine

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082024
 
 April 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple 1883-4

 

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)
US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)
Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)
Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)
Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)
UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)
FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)
IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)
Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)
Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)
Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)
Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)
Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser

 

 

Palestine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776811771376111937

 

 

Pepe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775855559012434117

 

 

Putin Macron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776833714820989431

 

 


Temperance is a tree which has for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace. – Buddha

 

 

 

 

“..that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders..”

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)

The invention of nuclear weapons was an act of total insanity. If the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons are not dismantled and destroyed, sooner or later they will destroy planet Earth. We have survived so far because the Cuban Missile Crisis awoke President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev to the danger of distrust between nuclear powers. For the remainder of the 20th century Washington and Moscow worked to defuse tensions and to build transparency and trust. Sufficient success was achieved to avoid false indications from warning systems showing incoming ICBMs from resulting in the launch of nuclear war. Today there is no trust. In the 21st century all of the arms agreements hammered out over the decades of the Cold War have been abandoned, first by Washington and then in response by the Kremlin. The Soviet collapse in 1991 gave rise to the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, an assertion of American unilateralism, a claim of American supremacy. Such an absurd and unrealistic claim is totally inconsistent with the existence of nuclear weapons.

All trust has been erased. In the US Russia has been demonized to an unprecedented extent. It is so extreme that anyone who gives an objective analysis is branded a “Putin agent/dupe.” This makes realistic assessments impossible. In Russia trust of Washington has been completely destroyed by broken promises, such as NATO will not move one inch to the East, broken arms agreements, deceit over the Minsk Agreement, and by Washington’s endless rejections of Russian requests for a mutual security agreement. Today all it takes for the world to end is one false warning of incoming missiles. It was Washington, not Russia, that created this situation, and nothing is being done about it. The world is content with the Sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over the planet. Whenever I raise this most serious of all issues, a gaggle of idiots pronounce that nuclear weapons will never be used because there can be no winners. All the while Putin is warning that Washington and its NATO puppets are pushing Russia into nuclear war. There is no end of people too stupid to see the dire threat.

If Biden, the defense secretary, anyone in Washington had any sense, they would call Putin and declare that we need more than a mutual security agreement. We need to dismantle and destroy all nuclear weapons–the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, France and the UK. To demonstrate our newly acquired good intentions, Washington should announce that it is closing its worldwide network of illegal bioweapon research laboratories and abandoning its effort to substitute Washington’s self-serving “rule-based order” for established international law. The notion that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders. According to official numbers, immigrant-invaders recruited from 160 countries by NGOs financed with federal tax dollars are entering unopposed our country monthly in numbers equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh.

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“..intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things..”

Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)

Fast forward to Easter 2024 and consider this report by Irish state broadcaster RTE on Israel’s latest attack on the Zaynab shrine. Note how this Irish government outlet (feebly) argues that Israel is entitled to attack the shrine and to hell with the collateral human damage because it is a Hezbollah (read Shia) stronghold. The reality, had these genocidal apologists bothered to check, is that Hezbollah have to guard all Shia locales because Israel and their NATO proxies continually attack them and slaughter every and all Shias that they can. Think of a Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine and you get the picture. I asked a good friend of mine, a female secular Sunni tour guide, if the Zaynab shrine was always so heavily guarded. She said that prior to NATO’s war against Syria, it only had normal security, the type that would be common in the mid West of the USA. Syria, before NATO launched its genocidal war against it, was considered one of the safest countries one could travel in. And that was probably their mistake, that it looked like easy meat for NATO’s cut throats.

But let’s forget Syria and Maaloula (which the Western media conveniently forgot about once Hezbollah and the Syrian Army freed it from NATO’s nun-torturing proxies). Let’s move on to Gaza or, rather to the BBC’s sickening coverage of it, as exemplified by examples of the BBC’s complicity in this most disgusting of war crimes. The sufferings the people of Gaza are enduring is the plainest example there is today of a war crime committed by war criminals, who should answer for their crimes. That the BBC considers Gaza is just some sort of pedantic philosophical talking point is a criminal indictment of the BBC on a par with anything the Nazis stood accused of in Nuremberg. And then there is NATO’s most recent criminal attack on Moscow, which is brilliantly addressed here by British maverick Russell Brand, who uses [an] article from WSWS, which often features in this site’s Editor’s Picks.

Although Brand easily and convincingly argues that NATO’s instant denials of Ukrainian intelligence involvement in these terror attacks are not in the least credible, Maaloula, Zaynab, Gaza and a million other places show that the criminal case against NATO goes much further and deeper than that. We have, in essence, two great forces operating against each other in the West. On the one hand, we have the business model of NATO and Israel, which see themselves fulfilling their manifest destiny by cleansing the lands they conquer of Shias, Armenian Christians, and elderly Russian monks and nuns. Their logic is quite simple. By cleansing the Middle East of its minorities, NATO can argue that the war there is between their pampered Israeli puppets and intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things.

On the other side of the ledger sheet, you have the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Mandaeans, the Shia, the Yezidi, secular Sunnis and many more who just want to live out their lives in peace, observing the customs their ancestors have observed since the dawn of time. This is not so much the Clash of Civilizations NATO’s mouthpieces harp on about but NATO, being utterly devoid of civilisation, trying to wipe everything from Maaloula and Zaynab to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Masha and Mishka from the face of the earth. Hyperbole? Consider the case of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who flew to Kiev to order the cross dressing Zelensky to fight to the last pregnant woman. This “cultured” man suggested that Palmyra, one of the jewels in Syria’s cultural crown, be allowed fall into ruin but that it should be recreated in some British controlled virtual world or other. True to form, this modern day Kipling has not a thought on how Palmyra, Maaloula or Zaynab fit into the greater glory of Greater Syria and the entire Fertile Crescent. Johnson would make a good Israeli, brash, boorish, and so arrogantly full of piss and wind that he is.

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“..John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike..”

US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)

Despite the verbal rhetoric and political fanfare emanating from the White House over Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Biden administration shows no willingness to cut off Tel Aviv from Washington’s arms supplies. While Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to minimize civilian harm in the war against Hamas, at no point during a recent phone call did he specifically threaten to limit US arms shipments, according to media reports. Biden “has the power to limit any foreign arms deliveries, even those previously approved by Congress,” the New York Times noted. But there was no specific “or else” delivered by Biden to Netanyahu during their exchange, the outlet added, citing officials. The call itself was inevitable, prompted by a wave of outrage over Israel’s deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) humanitarian convoy in Gaza.

The Israeli strike killed seven WCK workers from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Their humanitarian convoy was traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored vehicles emblazoned with the organization’s logo and a soft-skinned vehicle when it was attacked. The team had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food aid it had brought into Gaza. After the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops had “unintentionally harmed non-combatants” in Gaza, adding that “this is what happens in war. The flood of official statements from the White House stands in stark contrast to the detachment the US has shown in the face of the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalated in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7. 32,916 Palestinians have died since hostilities began, according to Gaza health officials.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the strike on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation in Gaza were “unacceptable.” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike. The US is the largest supplier of arms to Israel. It will account for 69% of Israel’s arms imports between 2019 and 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US signed a ten-year military agreement with Israel in 2016 that guarantees Israel $3.3 billion a year to purchase weapons from the US. An additional $500 million per year is earmarked for missile defense. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats,” former President Barack Obama said at the time.

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“Berlin and Paris Should Spearhead Efforts To End The Bloodshed..”

Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Berlin and Paris should be leading the way toward a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict, Gerhard Schroeder, who served as German chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has argued. The veteran politician also refused to disavow his long-time friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that it could make him a good mediator in the current situation. In 2014, Schroeder threw a birthday party in St. Petersburg, with the Russian leader in attendance. Back in 2006, he became the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, later also accepting a role on the board of Russia’s Rosneft energy giant. Schroeder stepped down from the latter post several months after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung published on Thursday, the 80-year-old expressed the view that it is still possible to secure a peace deal. “I am firmly convinced that [President] Putin is also interested in that,” Schroeder clarified.

The former German chancellor told the newspaper that he did not believe the conflict would spread further beyond Ukraine, or that it would lead to the use of nuclear weapons. He also lauded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for refusing to provide long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, according to the politician, Germany and France should do more on the diplomatic front to end the bloodshed. Schroeder also expressed cautious optimism over the fact that there is now talk within the ruling Social Democratic Party about potential ways out of the Ukraine conflict, such as the freezing of the hostilities. In an interview with the press agency dpa last week, he similarly named diplomacy as the only way out of the crisis.

Speaking of his personal ties to the Russian president, Schroeder said: “We have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution.” The former chancellor has previously called for a diplomatic resolution, claiming that Western Europe “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022 during talks between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul. Around the same time, Schroeder himself reportedly traveled to Türkiye and Russia on a “peace mission.” Russia has repeatedly asserted that it is in principle ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. According to Moscow, Kiev and its Western backers, however, have been setting unrealistic preconditions for talks.

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But the career puppet also says: “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory..”

Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine may ultimately have to agree to some kind of compromise with Russia to end the conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. In an interview with the BBC published on Saturday, the NATO chief reiterated that the West must support Ukraine in the long term “even if we believe and hope that the war will end in the near future.” He added that Western countries should invest in Kiev’s defense capabilities to make it more resilient in the event of future hostilities. At the same time, he signaled that it was up to Ukraine to choose when and under what conditions to seek peace with Russia. “At the end of the day, it has to be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises they’re willing to do,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the West’s role is to help Kiev reach a negotiating position that could produce an “acceptable result.”

That said, Stoltenberg emphasized that he was not pushing Kiev toward any concessions, adding that “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory. Earlier this week, the NATO boss made a strong plea to support Kiev in the long term, urging the bloc’s members to “rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments.” According to several reports, Stoltenberg proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) military aid package to Ukraine. The exact details of the initiative are reportedly now under discussion. Throughout the conflict, Russia has maintained that it is open to talks with Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky banned any negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022.

The Ukrainian leader has been advicating a ten-point ‘peace formula’ demanding that Moscow withdraw its troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, as well as for a tribunal to be established to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes. Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” In an interview with Politico on Saturday, Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, claimed that while Ukrainians were tired of the conflict, they would vehemently oppose any compromise with Russia. However, last month Zelensky suggested that a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations with Russia. Nevertheless, he still insisted that Kiev must regain the territory it lost to Moscow in 2022. Moscow has said Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since the start of the hostilities.

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“The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer..”

Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)

Lying seems to be the ubiquitous theme now of NATO and western elites so I can be forgiven. Those were, of course the immortal words of Dido from the song White Flag – a narrative which would work well with the NATO supremo who you could easily imagine singing along too at the lights in Oslo in his Volvo estate with the “baby on board sticker” on the rear window. In reality, ponder what the old fool really said. “The sooner we can convince Moscow that it will not win on the battlefield, the sooner we can reach a peace agreement in which Russia understands that it cannot win the war, but must sit down and negotiate an agreement in which Ukraine becomes a sovereign, independent state.” Interesting how the official line is shifting all the time. Our man Jens is now talking about Russia “not winning” compared to Biden just a few weeks ago who told press room wasters that “Putin was losing in Ukraine”.

But here is our NATO man actually now calling for peace talks as it becomes embarrassingly patent that NATO has nothing to celebrate on its birthday and that Ukraine is falling village by village, town by town, to Russian forces. Of course Ukraine and NATO are both banking on the Americans signing off a 60bn dollar of military aid for Ukraine, as though that will make a difference to a war machine which siphons off so much which arrives in Kiev, leaving some pundits recently writing about how much even the staplers in government ministries are being stolen each day, such is the depth and severity of the crisis. But it’s the lying and level of lying which is astonishing. As Anthony Blinken stunned journalists just recently by saying that “Ukraine will join NATO” – perhaps the biggest lie ever of the entire war as western leaders know this is impossible and can never happen, without, that is the full defeat and exit of Russian forces. Actually it’s the second biggest lie.

The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer which is something that Stoltenberg constantly says but not one EU leader believes which is evident in their irresponsible depletion of their own missiles. Macron also plays a key role in the manufacture of these untruths with his recent success in convincing journalists to write up the “we could send French troops into Ukraine” when, in fact, he packed that statement with so many caveats that he really didn’t say it at all. What is clear is that there is a state of panic now which is palpable from the West in general and that Macron, as well as NATO leaders, are having informal talks – or at least are having talks about possible talks – with Russia over some sort of what the Americans like to call an “off ramp” for Ukraine and the West. You could call it a “white flag” which has probably left you humming the song.

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“..rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole..”

Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s issues have become caught up in US domestic politics and this jeopardizes its ability to fight against Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky has complained. At this stage Kiev, he explained on national TV on Saturday, would agree to any kind of support from Washington, even in the form of a loan. Zelensky expressed hope that the US Congress would eventually approve a supplemental aid package for Kiev which has been in limbo for months worth of tens of billions of dollars. Describing the long-awaited assistance as critical, Zelensky said he believes that “we can get a positive vote from the US Congress.” “Unfortunately, we are hostage to the fact that this is the electoral process… Russia’s war against Ukraine has today become an internal political issue in the United States,” he complained, rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole.

The Ukrainian president also signaled that Kiev would accept assistance from the US in the form of a loan. “You know, one senator was recently there, and he asked: would you agree to loan money? Let’s be frank: we will agree to any option,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s fate is hanging in the balance. Zelensky was referring to senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who traveled to Kiev last month to promote the loan idea first put forward by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Graham claimed at the time to have been direct with Zelensky, telling him, “it’s not unfair for me to ask you and other allies: Pay us back down the road, if you can.”

Later, Politico reported that while Kiev is ready to consider the proposal, some Ukrainian officials find it “somewhat offensive.” US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress for several months to approve his aid package which would earmark $60 billion for Ukraine. Many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen security on the Mexican border. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson signaled earlier this month that the package could come up for a vote soon with “some important innovations,” including a proposal to extend a loan to Ukraine, as well as seizing frozen Russian sovereign assets and transferring them to Kiev. Moscow has described the blocking as “theft” and warned of retaliation if the funds are seized.

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UK Foreign War Secretary David Cameron also gets involved in domestic US politics?!

UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is planning to use his upcoming trip to the US to persuade House Speaker Mike Johnson to unblock a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine, the Telegraph reported on Sunday, citing sources at the Foreign Office. The additional funding has been delayed for several months due to political in-fighting in Congress. Cameron will fly to Washington, DC next week to meet with Johnson, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Telegraph said. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” President Vladimir Zelensky warned earlier this week, following multiple complaints about the shortage of ammunition on the battlefield. Cameron renewed his appeal to keep helping Kiev in a piece for the Telegraph on Sunday, arguing that the West must “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine must win this war. If Ukraine loses, we all lose. The costs of failing to support Ukraine now will be far greater than the costs of repelling Putin,” Cameron wrote in an op-ed co-authored with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne. He previously argued on social media that the security of the US, UK and EU is “on the line in Ukraine.”

Earlier this year, the British government stepped up its military assistance to Ukraine, pledging $3.2 billion in military aid, while the EU unveiled a plan to provide €50 billion ($54 billion) in loans and grants. House Republicans, however, have so far refused to advance the aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, arguing that the White House should agree to tougher border security measures. Johnson said before Congress went on a two-week Easter break that he was working on “important innovations” to the proposed legislation, signaling that the bill could be put to a vote soon. Russia has repeatedly said that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict in Ukraine, and will merely increase the risk of a further escalation.

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“..abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions..”

FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)

Two escape routes were prepared in Ukraine for the terrorists who attacked a packed concert hall outside Moscow last month, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday. The FSB showed snippets from interrogation videos, in which the suspects confessed that they were promised money in Kiev. On March 22, four Tajik nationals opened fire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue and then set the building on fire. A total of 145 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the attack. The suspected assailants were detained the next day while trying to flee to Ukraine by car, the authorities said. More suspects were arrested in the following days, most of them of Tajik origin. The jihadist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, however, suggested that the US, UK, and Ukraine may also be linked to the attack, possibly using Islamists as proxies. Ukraine and its Western backers have denied any involvement.

In the interrogation videos aired on Russian TV, the suspects said that they were following instructions from the handler they knew as Sayfullo. The authorities are currently working to determine his identity. The handler told the suspects to escape to Ukraine where they expected to receive 1 million rubles each ($11,000), they said. “Sayfullo told us that guys would wait for us at the Ukrainian border and that they would help us to cross the border and arrive in Kiev,” suspect Muhammadsobir Fayzov told his interrogator. According to investigators, the suspects took the M3 highway that leads to the border with Ukraine, but were eventually intercepted about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Ukraine’s Sumy region.

Suspect Shamsidin Fariduni said that they were told to “abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions on how to cross into Ukraine. Russian officials said previously that a “window” for crossing the border had been arranged on the Ukrainian side.The FSB said on Sunday that the Ukrainians were conducting “demining activities” near the villages of Chuykovka and Sopych, which points to two possible escape routes. According to investigators, the suspects were expected to destroy their vehicle and cross the border on foot, using woodlands as cover. Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier this week that pro-Ukrainian images were discovered on the phone of one of the suspects.

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“Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying..”

IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi characterized the recent drone attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) as a violation of nuclear security principles and called for an end to such “reckless attacks” Sunday. The IAEA confirmed minor damage to the sixth power unit of the plant as a result of the drone attacks. “This is a clear violation of the basic principles for protecting Europe’s largest [nuclear power plant]. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying in the IAEA statement. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the territory of the power station immediately after an inspection carried out by IAEA experts, the plant’s press service said. The attack left three of the facility’s workers injured, with one of them sustaining serious injuries, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

The IAEA had previously confirmed damage to the plant in a separate statement. “IAEA experts confirmed physical impact of drone attacks at ZNPP today, incl. at 1 of its 6 reactors,” the agency said. “One casualty reported. Damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident with potential to undermine integrity of the reactor’s containment system.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the international community must respond to Ukraine’s attack, calling it “an act of nuclear terrorism.” “The world community must realize and react to an act of nuclear terrorism on the part of the Kiev regime,” Zakharova said on Telegram. The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, constructed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union, is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s largest. The massive power station is reportedly now completely reliant on a single 750-kilowatt line for external power after previous attacks.

A connection to outside electricity is necessary to ensure the plant is able to cool its reactors – an interruption in the delivery of power could precipitate a catastrophic meltdown. Russia took control of the sensitive asset in March 2022 and it has endured Ukrainian fire ever since. Ukrainian drones, missiles, and artillery have all been used against the plant by Kiev, which has repeatedly attempted to reassert control. Kiev claims Russia is storing weapons at the power station and using it as cover to attack Ukrainian troops. Observers worry Ukraine may create a disaster at the plant, blaming Russia and spoiling newly-Russian territory. Kiev has repeatedly employed US-provided cluster munitions during fighting in the Donbass, raising the prospect of unexploded bomblets creating a hazard for decades to come.

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Long from Brenner.

Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)

Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies? That question haunts us as governments in the United States and Europe act as accomplices in Israeli’s atrocious crimes against the Palestinians. The Jewish state’s conduct meets the standard of genocide as stated in the United Nations Convention on Genocide of which they all are signatories. Confirmation is likely to come soon in a conclusive determination by the International Court of Justice. The ICJ already in January recognized a prime facie case for genocide. The UN’s top court ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention. At least some of the acts and omissions by Israel “fall within the provisions of the (Genocide) Convention,” the judges said.

The ICJ issued a set of stipulations “to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible,” including “the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.” One reasonably expected that the stark moral issues thereby highlighted – along with subsequent atrocities – would spark an animated, anguished public debate as a prelude to decisive action. Yet, the political class in its near totality disregards or sublimates them. Silence reigns. Gaza exhibits singular features that set it apart from other relatively recent instances of systematic, targeted attacks on civilians. One, the West’s response is not one of indifference leading to passivity – as in regard to Ruanda.

Governments have been active participants in Israel’s indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinians. They provide Israel with vast amounts of weapons critical to their military assault; they offer unqualified political support and diplomatic cover; they acquiesce in the siege that prevents foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian aid from entering the strip – causing mass famine and disease among the civilian population; they lend credence to crude propaganda lines from Jerusalem without question or qualification: the phony rape stories, alleged Hamas nests in hospitals, etc. etc..; they pressure their mass media to publicize those fabrications as hard news; and they suppress both public demonstrations and individual calls for measure to alleviate Palestinian suffering – instead, denouncing them as pro-Hamas and/or anti-Semitic. Germany, France and now Britain have gone so far as to criminalize public expressions of anti-Zionist viewpoints.

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“..trying to force people to become like us..”

Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)

Former Pentagon Adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor said Sunday the United States should stop “marching” into foreign nations to expand their political influence. “We need to stop marching into other peoples countries and trying to force people to become like us,” Macgregor said on the X social media platform. Earlier this week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed the US-led NATO alliance is a defensive organization that has “no designs” to seize the territory of any other country in the world. NATO has carried out bombings and interventions in countries including Libya, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan over its 75-year history.

The alliance also partnered with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to sponsor Operation Gladio, a covert program that backed far-right paramilitaries throughout Europe. In March, the Russian Mission to the United Nations requested a Security Council meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing campaign carried out by NATO against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Several US-aligned states raised objections to the proposed meeting, saying it was not relevant under the UN Security Council agenda category of “threats to international peace and security.”

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The judge really wants to go after Tucker Carlson.

Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)

A sentencing requirement that Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn have his computer monitored by the government for “disinformation” has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The court on March 26 published a mandate sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to remove the computer monitoring requirement he issued as part of the sentencing judgment in the case on June 15, 2023.
“Judge Walton had no legal basis to issue the special condition,” Carolyn Stewart, Mr. Goodwyn’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in an April 3 email. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the judge “plainly erred” in imposing the computer monitoring. Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia issued a per curiam order vacating the monitoring provision.

Judge Walton, when imposing a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023, said Mr. Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023. Judge Walton ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release. The judge also referred to Mr. Goodwyn spreading alleged “misinformation,” using the term interchangeably with “disinformation.” Mr. Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The charge could have meant up to a year in prison. On June 6, 2023, Judge Walton sentenced Mr. Goodwyn to 60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, and a $500 restitution payment.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 90 days in jail, 36 months of supervised release, a $25,676 fine, and $500 in restitution. The recommended fine amount represented proceeds of a GiveSendGo web page Mr. Goodwyn uses to raise funds for his legal fees. Mr. Goodwyn asked for a sentence of time served with three months of supervised release. He received credit for three weeks he spent in pretrial detention, but not for the 13 months he spent in home detention. He completed his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023. Mr. Goodwyn said the Court of Appeals made the correct decision. “Judge Walton’s imposition of the computer monitoring restriction is inconsistent with American law and tradition,” Mr. Goodwyn told The Epoch Times. “It’s unbelievable, in my opinion, that he would unlawfully order feds to spy on me in direct violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, under threat of locking me back up in prison.”

[..] During the sentencing hearing, Judge Walton criticized Mr. Goodwyn for having the “false impression” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. “And there is just no proof whatsoever that that was, in fact, the case,” the judge said, according to the official court transcript for the June 6 portion of the hearing. It was Mr. Goodwyn’s appearance on Mr. Carlson’s Fox News program that drew some of the sharpest fire from Judge Walton. He called Mr. Carlson a “lightning rod” who “has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive.” Mr. Carlson gave the impression “that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ‘21 have been treated unfairly,“ the judge said. ”And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.”

When being interviewed by Mr. Carlson, Mr. Goodwyn “made no attempt to correct the record,” Judge Walton said. “And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.”

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“You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.”

Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)

Owner of X Corp. Elon Musk said on the platform on April 6 that the company had decided to lift all restrictions on Brazilian accounts targeted by an order from the nation’s Supreme Court. “We are lifting all restrictions. This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Mr. Musk wrote, explaining X’s decision. The announcement came in response to reporting by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” In his reporting, Mr. Shellenberger cited records released by X, formerly known as Twitter, during Mr. Musk’s 2022 takeover that allegedly show that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

Sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censoring, Mr. Shellenberger said of his findings, which he has shared on X He named lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as targets of orders targeting posts that the court deemed misinformation. According to the internal files that Mr. Shellenberger shared, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine. The company had one hour to remove the congressmembers’ posts or pay the court for noncompliance. The article reports that the justice had even been jailing individuals without trial for their social media posts. According to Mr. Shellenberger, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly made demands to Twitter to allow access to its internal data, in violation of Twitter’s own policies on the handling of user data.

He also allegedly ordered that Twitter deplatform the individuals responsible for the specific posts that he wanted censored “without giving users any right of appeal or even the right to see the evidence presented against them.” Brazil’s “Twitter Files” also show that the justice “sought to weaponize Twitter’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president [Jair Bolsonaro],” Mr. Shellenberger said—a similar trend to what the “Twitter files” revealed was happening to former President Donald Trump and conservative voices in the United States. The origin of the order to censor Brazilians’ posts was also revealed in the internal Twitter files, he said. He said Justice de Moraes, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, and Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court declined to respond to the report.

Last year, Justice de Moraes also ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging platform Telegram and Alphabet’s Google, who were in charge of a campaign criticizing a proposed internet regulation bill. Mr. Musk said of Brazil’s Twitter Files, which he released to Mr. Shellenberger, “This aggressive censorship appears to violate the law & will of the people of Brazil.” Journalist Paulo Figueiredo, a contributor to The Epoch Times who was censored by the court order, replied: “You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.” He had replied to an earlier post urging X to not comply with the court order, saying the independent platforms Rumble and Locals did not comply. “You’re powerful enough to make a difference,” Mr. Figueiredo said.

Rogan X

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For running the company into the ground.

Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

Boeing’s departing CEO Dave Calhoun’s 2023 pay package jumped by 45 percent to about $33 million, according to an annual proxy statement filed on Friday. Boeing reported that Calhoun’s compensation mainly consists of deferred stock options. Boeing’s share price has slumped almost 30 percent this year as of March 29, 2024 following the mid-air blowout of an Alaska Airlines B737 MAX 9 jet door plug on January 5. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Boeing failed to correctly install the four bolts required to secure the door on the Alaska jet. The revised figure for Calhoun’s overall earnings in 2023 totalled $24.8 million. The departing CEO pocketed $22.6 million the previous year, according to the regulatory filing.

The Seattle-based planemaker is in financial and regulatory trouble after several accidents with its B737 Max short-medium haul airliners. It has suffered a drop in new orders and mounting concerns over quality control and corporate governance raised by regulators and customers. Last February, an expert panel found Boeing’s safety practices “inadequate and confusing” and noted a “disconnect” between the company’s senior management and front-line workers. In March, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) probe found multiple issues within Boeing’s 737 Max production, including quality control violations by major supplier Spirit AeroSystems. The FAA conducted 89 product audits of which 33 failed, totalling 97 instances of noncompliance. Based on FAA findings, Spirit AeroSystems underwent 13 audits, failing seven.

Calhoun was appointed CEO of Boeing in January 2020. His 2023 pay-packet is his highest yet, despite the transnational corporation’s litany of woes. sFollowing the Alaska incident, Boeing’s executive compensation committee adjusted the payment structure for top officials in 2024. Executives in the commercial aircraft division will now have their pay split into 60 percent based on operational performance and 40 percent based on financial performance. Previously, three-quarters of pay was based on financial metrics.

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Birx

 

 

Baby elephant
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Toddler puppy

 

 

Hawk mallard

 

 

Horse
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Toothpaste
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PolyGlu

 

 

Table cloth

 

 

 

 

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